Nate Diaz used some vintage boxing and a rear-naked choke to defeat huge favourite Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
Meanwhile, Miesha Tate used a last minute opportunity to drag Holly Holm to the ground and get the technical submission to win the women’s bantamweight crown.
It was a night of upsets.
McGregor and Diaz secured Fight-of-the-Night honours while Tate and Diaz secured performances-of-the-night. Diaz earned an additional $100,000 USD bonus, while the others earned an additional $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews checks in.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
JULIAN EROSA VS TERUTO ISHIHARA
WINNER: TERUTO ISHIHARA VIA TKO R2 0:34
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JULIAN EROSA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Erosa could not deal with the aggressiveness and the leg kicks of Ishihara, who landed it a lot in the first round. Erosa tried to compensate in the second, but got caught by a beautiful counter left hook. Great win for Ishihara.
JASON SAGGO VS JUSTIN SALAS
WINNER: JASON SAGGO VIA TKO R2
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JASON SAGGO VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Saggo expertly let Salas take him down and then controlled him with his BJJ, getting the TKO finish. A masterclass of BJJ displayed by the Canadian.
DIEGO SANCHEZ VS JIM MILLER
WINNER: DIEGO SANCHEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JIM MILLER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Sanchez’s top game served him well in the first round, but this fight was much closer than the judges indicated. Thought it was a draw myself, but I think the judges keyed in on the aggressiveness of Sanchez. Great performance by both fighters.
TSN 2 PRELIMS
DARREN ELKINS VS CHAS SKELLY
WINNER: DARREN ELKINS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHAS SKELLY VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews Prediction: Elkins basically grinded down Skelly from the first round. Skelly tried to counter with submissions, but they weren’t enough. Great win for Elkins.
VITOR MIRANDA VS MARCELO GUIMARAES
WINNER: VITOR MIRANDA VIA TKO 1:09 R2
ANDREWS PREDICTION: VITOR MIRANDA VIA TKO
Andrews: Miranda in the second round made Marcelo pay for the takedown attempts, then used his striking to finish him off. Great performance by Miranda.
ERICK SILVA VS NORDINE TALEB
WINNER: NORDINE TALEB VIA TKO R2 1:34
ANDREWS PREDICTION: NORDINE TALEB VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Taleb used crisp counterstriking to put away Silva. He also overcame his left ankle briefly not responding in the first round. A great performance by Taleb.
BRANDON THATCH VS SIYAR BAHADURZADA
WINNER: SIYAR BAHADURZADA VIA SUBMISSION R3 4:11
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRANDON THATCH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Once the fight went to the ground, Thatch was like a fish out of water. Disappointing, but give Siyar credit for softening him up with his takedowns and strikes.
#4 AMANDA NUNES VS #10 VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO
WINNER: AMANDA NUNES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS PREDICTION: AMANDA NUNES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Nunes put it on Shevchenko for the first two rounds, then almost fell apart in the third. She cannot afford to do that against top-5 fighters.
#12 COREY ANDERSON VS TOM LAWLOR
WINNER: COREY ANDERSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: COREY ANDERSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Not a barnburner of a fight, but Anderson survived some right hooks by Lawlor to grind out the win in typical 25/8 fashion. But not a fight to write home about.
#13 GIAN VILLANTE VS ILIR LATIFI
WINNER: ILIR LATIFI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: GIAN VILLANTE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Not the most exciting fight ever, but Latifi used his wrestling and power to keep Villante on the defensive.
(C) HOLLY HOLM VS #2 MIESHA TATE
WINNER: MIESHA TATE VIA SUBMISSION R5 3:30
ANDREWS PREDICTION: HOLLY HOLM VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Holm was on her way to victory, when Tate capitalized on her only opportunity in the final round. Clamped on the rear naked choke after dragging Holm to the mat. Great performance by both fighters, but especially Tate.
(C) CONOR MCGREGOR VS NATE DIAZ
WINNER: NATE DIAZ VIA SUBMISSION R2 4:12
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CONOR MCGREGOR VIA TKO
Andrews: Conor looked to be on his way landing strikes and bloodying Nate’s right eye. But then in the second round Diaz landed a few shots that quickly changed the tide. It forced McGregor to try a takedown, which Nate used to full mount and then slap the rear-naked choke. What a performance by Nate Diaz.