On Saturday, March 5, the UFC touched down in Las Vegas to bring fight fans UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz.

In the main event UFC featherweight champ Conor Mcgregor moved up two weight classes to meet Nate Diaz in a welterweight clash.

Diaz (18-10), winner of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, is coming off an impressive decision win over Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17 in December. Following the victory, the Stockton native took to the mic and immediately called out McGregor, much to the delight of the FOX production team who were forced to censor the majority of the Diaz’s tirade. McGregor (18-2), the UFC’s reigning featherweight champion, was last scene scoring a blistering 13-second knockout over former champion and pound-for-pound best Jose Aldo, snapping the Brazilian’s 15 fight win streak while earning the undisputed featherweight title in the process.

Also appearing on the card was a women’s bantamweight title fight between reigning champion Holly Holm and former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate.

Holm (10-0), also a former boxing world champion who amassed a record of 33-2-3 while holding both the IBA and WBF world titles, was last seen slapping her shin across Rousey’s head early in second round of their UFC 193 title fight, turning the former champion’s lights out. ate (17-5), also a former Strikeforce champion, is currently riding a four fight win streak inside the Octagon. In her most recent bout, “Cupcake” walked away with a dominant decision over Jessica Eye in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 17 in July.

All this plus a light heavyweight fights between Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante and Corey Andersonvs. Tom Lawler as well as another women’s bantamweight fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko.


Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Up first is a fight in the women’s 135-lbs division that is laying low on the radar, but trust that one of these women will be fighting for the title by 2017. No. 4 Amanda Nunes, who is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, comes into this fight with more high-level MMA experiences, first with Strikeforce, then with Invicta and now entering her sixth UFC bout, however Valentina Shevchenko has high-level world class striking, not unlike the current UFC 115 and 135-lbs women’s champions.

Round 1: Overall a fairly uneventful round which started of with both fighters feeling each other out, looking for their timing and range,for the firs two minutes. The only strikes of note landed were a few leg kicks by Nunes. Shevchenko found a home for her right hand on more than one occasion, but not enough to slow down Nunes, who continued to throw leg kicks, and had several attempts at a spinning heel kick. In the last minute Nunes scored a takedown, which no doubt helped her secure an otherwise stale five-minutes. 10-8 Nunes.

Round 2: It seemed like Shevchenko might press the action more at the start of the second, but Nunes was able to capitolize in the scramble during a clinch and score a takedown at about a minute in. From here she was able to land several strikes, but was locked down in halfguard for over a minute before she created enough space to land several big elbows just before the halfway mark. Nunes attack paid off, allowing her to advance to full back mount with a body triangle as she patiently worked a rear-naked choke which was all but locked in before a minor adjustment allowed Shevchenko to turn into Nunes guard with 10 seconds left and make it to the bell. 10-8 Nunes.

Round 3: Knees and elbows were the theme of the final round, as Shevchenko landed with them early and often. Desperation was evident, as she landed her own take and did heavy damage, even attempting a shoulder lock. Nunes recovered to her feet , but continued to eat several more knees in the closing minutes of the bout. It may have all been too little, too late. 10-9 Shevchenko. We call it 28-27 Nunes.

Judges score the bout 29-28, 29-27, 29-27 for Nunes.

Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor

Round 1: The veteran, Tom Lawlor, came out strong early in the first, landing big shots and hurting Anderson, putting him on shaky ground for the first minute, which he seemed to recovery from shortly after. Not much action except single shot exchanges ensued until after the halfway point of the fight, with Lawlor seeming to control the Octagon better, but Anderson able to find his timing. Lawlor’s early success in the round followed up by finding a home for his right hand later on, as well as Anderson’s failure to regain momentum, made this an easy round to call. 10-9 Lawlor.

Round 2: Anderson seems a bit more desperate to land early at the start of the second, but Lawlor scored big with a left at a minute in, putting Corey back on his heels. Both fighters settle into the same rhythm as last round, with Lawlor controlling the center of the cage and pressing forward during exchanges. The southpaw, Anderson, lands with an inside kick more than once, but doesn’t seem to follow up, or throw it more often. There is a flurry by Lawlor in the last minute, but Corey doesn’t fade and ends the round strong. 10-9 Lawlor.

Round 3: After what seemed like a continuation of the same fight we’ve been seeing, Corey scores a big takedown a minute into the final round. Anderson unsuccessfully tries to advance and beyond halfguard for most of the round, with Lawlor able to shut down enough of his attacks to the point that Big John stands them up with just over a minute remaining in the fight. The remaining moments had some minor exchanges, but nothing significant enough to change the outcome of the round. 10-9 Anderson. We call it 29-28 Lawlor.

Judges call it 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Anderson.

Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante

Rocky for Latifi and Johnny Cash for Villante, this should be a good one.

Round 1: Latifi landed big, but showed good fight IQ, as he took his time and picked his moment during the clinch. He knows he has the wrestling advantage, so these are the types of moments where he can slow things down and control the fight for a moment. Even though Villante broke, he was unable to land many shots before ending up in the same position. He breaks again, but gets right back there with a minute left in the round. 10-9 Latifi.

Round 2: After seeming to gain some confidence from stuffing all four of Latifi’s takedown attempts, Villante got a little too comfortable as Latifi’s efforts paid off and he found the right opening to score. Unfortunately for Latifi, he was unable to keep Villante on the ground, where Villante once again showcased his wrestling defense. Despite another spat against the cage, Villante seems to be finding his range better and starts to control the center of the cage better. Not to be outshined, Latifi tries to land a pair of sloppy spinning back kicks. With less than a minute left, Latifi tries for another takedown, wich Villante stuffs until Latifi gets his grip and hip position and takes Villante for a ride to the mat. Villante recovers to his feet only to end the round pressed against the cage once more. Villante may have landed more kicks, but Latifi had more overall success with his mixed attacks. 10-9 Latifi.

Round 3: Villante pressed forward more at the start of the third, keeping Latifi on his heels. Latifi circles and turns the corner on VIllante to get him against the cage, where he gets a takedown shortly after. Like before, Villante gets to his feet, and frees himself from Latifi’s grasp against the cage. At the halfway point Latifi tries again with a spinning techniques, but this time it more controlled, but off target. Latifi has success with his left, which he spends the closing minutes of the fight hunting for, before scoring one more big takedown that Villante not only recovers from but manages to get behind Latifi in the stand up scramble as the bell closes out the fight. 10-9 Latfi. We call it 30-27 for Latifi.

The judges score it 30-27 for Latifi.

Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate – For UFC women’s bantamweight title

Round 1: Tate makes no surprise of what her game plan is early on, as she plays it safe and out of Holm’s striking range trying to frustrate her, and catch her so she can clinch or get a takedown. Holly stays calm and focuses, looking to find her range, and pick her shots, mixing kicks well into her combos. Tate is clearly taking more than shes’s giving, but doesn’t seem perturbed by it. Miesha doesn’t little to close the distance where she can clinch or brawl, and closes out the round down on the score cards. 10-9 Holm.

Round 2: Miesha starts to step in and immediately runs into a straight left hand, but in classic Tate fahsion she doesn’t let it stop her and she times a perfect takedown where she ends up in halfguard, but still in scoring position. Miesha focuses more on control and advancing her position, but still manages to mix in some solid ground strikes. Holm has no offense off her back, and Tate shuts down every escape attempt for the majority of the round. Tate starts to settle into halfguard as she makes space to land big shots. Holly takes the bate, turns to stand, and Miesha takes her back. In the last 75 seconds of the fight Miesha attacks with three very close rear-naked choke attempts. Holly barely survives the round. 10-8 Tate.

Round 3: Holm is a little more cautious moving forward in this round, but still finds her range. It’s clear Miesha is just waiting for her opening, where she makes her first takedown attempt, of the round, which Holly stuffs, at just under three-minutes left in the round. Holly finally finds a home for her jab as she starts to throw with more confidence in the last minute. Miesha makes her most desperate takedown of the fight yet, and is easily brushed off by Holm. Not much action, but Holm landed more, and Tate failed to get it to the mat. 10-9 Holm.

Round 4: Holm starts looking for a home for her sidekick, but gets a little too comfortable as Tate looks for another takedown. She manages to stuff this one, and they end up on the cage again, but this time Tate has her back to the fence. They don’t stay there long, and Miesha takes the control of the center of the Octagon. Holly seems content landing single shots and trying to keep her distance instead of setting up bigger shots like earlier in the fight. The hesitance appear to pay off  as she ends up in a top sprawl against another takedown attempt and gets to land a few shots before they stand. Holly lands her most significant strikes of the fight in the last minute. 10-9 Holm.

Round 5: Both fighters know what they have to do to win this fighting going into the last round, and just like the majority of the fight, Holm seems to be landing just that much more to win, so long as she can keep stuffing takedowns. Just as it seems like Miesha is all but lost, she gets another takedown with two minutes left and takes Holly’s back where she doesn’t hesitate to take her back and choke her out unconscious. Wow, is all I can say.

Official call is submission (rear-naked choke) win for Tate.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Mild boos for a moment as Nate Diaz comes out, but he doesn’t seem bothered by them, and they quickly dissipate until he steps in the cage where they surface for another quick moment, this time mixed with cheers. By contrast the arena and crowd light up for Conor McGregor, with his Vincent Chase-like entourage/cornermen in tow. Once inside the Octagon, Conor quickly embraces the love he gets from those in attendance. Bruce Buffer kicks it off, as Herb Dean is the third man for the main event.

Round 1: Good jabs and distance by Nate, but Conor had more success with his left hand and leading uppercut. He didn’t get a first round finish, but he did more damage. Nate scored a late takedown, but ended up getting swept as he attacked and did not have enough time to score off his back. 10-9 McGregor.

Round 2: Much more action early on in this round, as Conor lands a couple big lefts early on, and Nate is able to turn it into a dog fight, which works to his benefit at the halfway point. McGregor is clearly hurt, as Diaz starts to T-off on him before they clinch and Diaz is landing without repercussion. Conor gets off the cage and starts to mount an offense, but Diaz isn’t phased and he continues to attack. Conor goes for a desperate takedown and in the scramble Diaz locks in a guillotine that he transitions to a rear-naked choke that gets Conor tapping.

Official call is submission (rear-naked choke) win for Diaz.



Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 of Round 2.
Miesha Tate defeats Holly Holm via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:30 of Round 5 to win the UFC women’s bantamweight title
Ilir Latifi defeats Gian Villante via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Corey Anderson defeats Tom Lawlor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Amanda Nunes defeats Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27).


Siyar Bahadurzada defeats Brandon Thatch via Submission (arm-triangle) at 4:11 of Round 3.
Nordine Taleb defeats Erick Silva via Knockout at 1:34 of Round 2.
Marcelo Guimaraes defeats Vitor Miranda via TKO at 1:09 of Round 2.
Darren Elkins defeats Chas Skelly via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26).


Diego Sanchez defeats Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Jason Saggo defeats Justin Salas via TKO at 4:31 of Round 1.
Teruto Ishihara defeats Julian Erosa via TKO at 0:34 of Round 2.