Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion and in-depth play by play as the UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz pay-per-view (PPV) event takes place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Inimitable Irish featherweight champion Conor McGregor was initially slated to move up one weight class and fight lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in tonight’s main event. However, after dos Anjos broke his foot and was removed from the card, “The Notorious One” will now jump two full weight classes higher to meet Nate Diaz at welterweight.
In the co-main event, recently crowned bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who toppled former champ Ronda Rousey in dramatic fashion at UFC 193, defends her title for the first time against scrappy submission wrestler Miesha “Cupcake” Tate. Also on the PPV card: Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante (light-heavyweight), Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor (light-heavyweight) and Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko (bantamweight).
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the PPV broadcast at 10 p.m. ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the entire event.
UFC 196 Main Card
(PPV, 10 p.m. ET)
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
R1: McGregor sails an overhand left and whiffs on a spinning kick, and Diaz clinches up and puts him on the fence. McGregor separates but eats a glancing left on the break. McGregor’s left cross has a strong presence early though Diaz seems to be getting the timing down. Short check hook lands for Diaz and it makes him smile. McGregor with a low kick to the heavy lead leg of Diaz.
Lead uppercut for McGregor, keying on the way Diaz is dipping his head in the pocket. Two pitter-patter rights land for Diaz. McGregor lands a stiff side kick to the knee, then a clean left cross. Diaz comes back with a jab. McGregor with another left hand and Diaz is now bleeding heavily from his right eye. Diaz catches a McGregor side kick and takes him down, rolling to his back in pursuit of a triangle. McGregor keeps strong posture to stifle it and also gets away with a blatant fence grab as the round ends. 10-9 McGregor.
R2: Diaz is anxious to start the second. McGregor grazes with a spinning kick to the body. Sharp left hand from McGregor digs to the body of Diaz, who then gets plugged with a one-two. Lead right hand scores for Diaz and he ducks under the next punch to clinch up and put McGregor on the fence. McGregor breaks free easily and continues to hammer left hands to the bloodied eye of Diaz.
Hard step-in jab lands for Diaz as the two start up a conversation in the Octagon. Lead uppercut is there for McGregor. Diaz uncorks a one-two out of nowhere and it buckles the legs of McGregor. Diaz marches forward confidently, ignoring McGregor’s smile to sling another one-two and clinch up. Diaz lands a volley of lefts to the face in the clinch, then he steps away and finds a one-two. McGregor answers with a left but Diaz lumbers forward undaunted, in a trance of violence. Diaz plugs him with a jab and a one-two, and McGregor shoots a wobbly and desperate takedown attempt. Diaz cinches on a guillotine and falls back for it; McGregor rolls out of it but Diaz expertly transitions to back control. Diaz ties on the rear-naked choke, pausing only to drill McGregor with two punches before reapplying the hold and forcing the tapout.
- Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor by submission (rear-naked choke) R2 4:12
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
(women’s bantamweight championship)
R1: Holm establishes range with a jab and a rear-leg stomp kick. Hold land a front-leg side kick to the body. Tate catches the next kick but Holm regains her balance and separates fluidly. Tate blocks a hard left cross to the face. Holm shoves Tate away after Tate stands her ground on a flurry. Another rear-leg stomp kick sent low from Holm.
Tate is being especially patient and not forcing the issue but she’s reacting too late on counter-attacks. Tate grazes with a counter left upstairs and gets a glove in front of a Holm high kick just in time. Front-leg side kick glances to the body for Holm. 10-9 Holm.
R2: Tate starts the second more aggressively, getting into the pocket with a one-two. Tate ducks under a Holm left and nails a double leg, landing in side mount. Holm hooks a leg to get half guard but eats an elbow to the head from Tate. Tate looking to thread her trapped leg through and mount, then she lands an elbow to the face. Now a right hand from “Cupcake.” Tate goes high in half guard, grinding away with short right hands and elbows.
Holm starts to squirm towards the fence but Tate recognizes it and cuts off the angle. Tate goes two-on-one on Holm’s left arm, pauses to land a hard right elbow, then lands another when the first gets through. Holm turtles and Tate hops on her back with both hooks in. Holm moves toward the fence and Tate goes for the rear-naked choke; she’s not under the chin at first but she is on the second attempt. Holm buries her chin and avoids the danger. 10-8 Tate.
R3: Holm cuts more angles to start the third, landing a short jab. Tate with an equal amount of evasive angles, forcing Holm to pursue her. Tate lands a check hook. Holm steps into a lazy Tate body kick and drills her with a left cross. Tate tries to duck under the next left cross but Holm reacts quicker this time, stuffing it.
Tate blocks a high kick. No dice on Holm’s lead-leg hook kick. Tate glances with a check hook. Holm scores with a lead left cross, then lands a rear-leg stomp kick to the knee. They exchange punches at close range but Holm closes her combo with a side kick to the gut. Tate shoots from way outside and Holm easily sidesteps it. Tate glances with a front kick to the body and blocks a Holm kick. 10-9 Holm.
R4: Holm spitting out tight boxing flurries in the pocket and closing with the side kick. Tate times a blast double but Holm stays upright, then circles off the fence and separates. Holm keeping fast jabs in Tate’s face. Holm glances with a left cross and shoves Tate away.
Holm angles from side to side to set up a left cross. Tate shoots a double and Holm sprawls out, retracting her hips out of range. Holm plays matador, sidestepping Tate’s straight-line attack. Front kick to the body from Holm followed by a left cross to the face. 10-9 Holm.
R5: Tate hunches over and lands a jab over the top. Stomp kick to the knee lands for Holm but Tate answers with a body kick. They trade kicks to the body with Holm’s side kick packing a bit more oomph. Tate is stuffed on a takedown attempt. Tate steps in to jam a left and force a clinch but Holm circles and puts Tate on the fence. Tate joins her hands for a body lock but Holm shoves her away and separates.
Front kick to the body lands for Tate, who tries to catch Holm’s side kick unsuccessfully. Holm glances with a left cross but Tate darts into range to secure a body lock, then whips Holm to the canvas. Tate takes her back in the transition and Holm tries to roll out as Tate puts both hooks in and threads her arm under the chin. Tate hangs on tight during the transition and wrenches a deep mata leao. Holm goes limp.
- Miesha Tate defeats Holly Holm by submission (rear-naked choke) R5 3:30
Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante
R1: Villante flings two kicks low, then two up high. Latifi steps in to jam the next kick and puts Villante on the cage. It’s an under-hook and wrist control for Latifi, then a short right to the face. They separate and reset in the center with Latifi reaching dangerously low to catch Villante’s low kick. Villante lands another low kick but Latifi uncorks a massive left hand that thuds to the head on his way into the clinch.
They trade knees in the over-under before Villante circles off the cage and separates. Latifi follows a step-in right into the clinch and Villante separates after a Latifi uppercut. Latifi lowers his head and wings a wide left hook, again following his punches into the clinch. Hard right downstairs from Latifi, then another as Villante breaks free. Villante lands a hard right kick to the body but his left high kick is blocked. 10-9 Villante in a close round.
R2: More rangy kicks from Villante to start the second. After what might have been an inadvertent poke to Latifi’s eye, Villante lands a hard body kick and it prompts a gargantuan belly-to-back suplex from Latifi. Villante recovers and gets back to his feet quickly, separating without incident. Latifi scores with a check hook but Villante chops away again at the lead leg with a low kick.
Another low kick for Villante as Latifi rushes forward to force a clinch. Again, Villante is able to maneuver off the cage and separate unscathed. Latifi now switching stances, likely on account of the low-kick barrage. Latifi glances with a spinning kick to the body. The pace slows a bit as Latifi is reduced to dealing with the low kicks and bull-rushing Villante with wild punches and clinch tie-ups. Latifi lands a power takedown from the body lock but Villante is back up quickly. 10-9 Villante.
R3: Latifi holds his ground and sits down on a combo to slow down the stalking of Villante. Latifi clinches up and hurls Villante off-balance with a body-lock throw but Villante is again back up and separated a few seconds later. Lead overhand left lands clean to the face for Latifi. No dice on the spinning kick from Latifi.
Latifi sails a wild overhand right into Villante’s gourd but he shakes it off like a champ. Another one lands for Latifi and this one buckles the legs of Villante, but Latifi doesn’t push his advantage. Make it a third overhand left though Villante got a glove in front of this one. Latifi heaves another left and follows behind it to clinch, then completes a powerful takedown. Villante turtles and Latifi goes to the front headlock; Villante ducks under to get the rear waist lock. 10-9 Latifi. I have it 29-28 Villante.
- Ilir Latifi defeats Gian Villante by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor
R1: Anderson lands an inside low kick. Lawlor knifes forward behind a buzzsaw of leather, wobbling Anderson with piston-like rights and lefts. They reset and Lawlor pours it on again, forcing Anderson to disengage and get some space to recover. They change levels at the same time and nearly clash heads. Anderson lands an inside low kick. The next inside low kick chops out Lawlor’s footing.
Lawlor doubles up on right hooks, eating a short right from Anderson between them. Quick jab/hook combo lands for Anderson followed by a right hook. Lawlor dings him with a straight left but it’s answered by another right hook from Anderson. Straight right gets through for Anderson, followed by another inside low kick. 10-9 Lawlor.
R2: Lawlor catches Anderson’s first low kick and turns it into a single. Anderson pops back up to his feet immediately. Straight right lands for Anderson and Lawlor answers with a harder and cleaner straight left. Inside low kick is there for Anderson and Lawlor’s still not checking them. Glancing one-two from Anderson.
Lawlor bobs his head back with a left cross, then glances with another to the top of the head. Inside low kick is still there for Anderson. Short right to the mouth from Anderson. Lawlor glances with a reactive up-knee to the head. Lawlor scores with a one-two and swarms but eats a counter shot from Anderson. 10-9 Anderson.
R3: Stiff step-in right lands clean for Lawlor. Anderson nails a blast double leg and lands in side control. Head-and-arm cradle from Anderson, then a cross-base with left hands to the head. Lawler goes on his left hip and gets half guard, then body-locks to control posture. Lawlor goes back onto his left hip, possibly looking for a kimura.
Anderson adjusts his angle to stifle it, then bases down as Lawlor holds on to a body lock. The ref stands them up with around a minute to go. Inside low kick is still there for Anderson. And another that’s half-checked. Anderson closes with a glancing one-two. 10-9 Anderson. I have it 29-28 Anderson.
- Corey Anderson defeats Tom Lawlor by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
R1: Nunes showing angles but pulling back on two low kick attempts. Nunes switches to a front-leg low kick but she’s forced to dodge a right hand after throwing it. Nunes leading exchanges as Shevchenko holds her ground stone-faced, seeking powerful boxing counters. They exchange punches in a mutual exchange. Nunes whiffs on a looping overhand and a kick.
Shevchenko a little too patient here. Nunes lands a right round kick to the body before finishing a takedown. Shevchenko closes her guard and fights for posture control. Nunes lands a big right elbow, then a right hand. 10-9 Nunes.
R2: Nunes glances with a body kick that prompts Shevchenko to counter with a short right upstairs. Shevchenko catches the next kick and off-balances Nunes, then she glances with an illegal kick to her downed opponent. Nunes recovers and reverses Shevchenko, posturing up to land sharp hammer-fists in half guard. Pressure-release elbow from Nunes, then two right hands and a volley of left elbows.
Shevchenko’s cut from the topside punishment of Nunes. Shevchenko works an escape but Nunes puts her back on the canvas and continues to pound away. Big hammer-fists from Nunes, who passes to side control and cradles a leg. Sensing the mount pass, Shevchenko reacts and Nunes takes her back. Jaw-crushing rear-naked choke attempt from Nunes, who can’t get under the chin. 10-8 Nunes.
R3: Nunes shoots an early takedown but eats a rugged counter knee, then an equally startling elbow. Shevchenko capitalizes with a takedown, landing in side mount. Shevchenko gets a heavy cross base and thwacks Nunes with short right forearms, then leans over to secure Americana position. Nunes defends and creates enough space to stand up and separate. Nunes whiffs on a kick and Shevchenko catches her in the Thai plum, landing a stiff up-knee.
Shevchenko misses a spinning strike but has the poise and balance to stay upright on Nunes’ counter takedown. Nunes keeps one hand on the canvas to avoid knees to the head before separating unscathed. Inside low kick lands for Nunes from range. Shevchenko flurries with her hands and steps off-center to land a knee. Nunes chops out the leg of Shevchenko with an inside low kick. Superman punch lands downstairs for Shevchenko in the waning moments of the fight. 10-9 Shevchenko. I have it 29-27 Nunes.
- Amanda Nunes defeats Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)
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