Conor McGregor’s ascent in MMA has been nearly unprecedented, talking trash like arguably no other fighter in the history of the sport and then backing it every step of the way. His last fight was a 13-second knockout of longtime champion Jose Aldo, capturing the UFC featherweight title. He was to fight for the lightweight title at this show against Rafael Dos Anjos, but Dos Anjos had to pull out of the fight with a broken foot. The colorful Nate Diaz steps in on short notice in a welterweight fight without the same stakes but perhaps more fan interest given Diaz’s wild style and reputation.
Round 1. McGregor comes out immediately switching stances back and forth. He throws a wild spinning kick and Diaz clinches. Nothing happens there and they separate. Diaz starts pawing at McGregor with the jab while McGregor loads up for power shots. McGregor has his chin out, not showing a lot of concern for Diaz’s power. Diaz is throwing more as McGregor approaches. Diaz continues to halt McGregor’s approach by throwing out his jab. McGregor lands a nice left hand, one of his best shots of the fight. Diaz is bleeding near his right eye. However, he does keep landing his jab. McGregor is landing less but landing harder. Diaz gets a takedown with 40 seconds left but McGregor rolls into top position. McGregor lands some punches from the top. Close round, definitely could have gone either way. 10-9 McGregor.
Round 2. McGregor throws a spinning kick that misses but follows with a hard punch to the body. McGregor lands a stiff punch and elbow shortly thereafter. Diaz clinches and looks for a takedown. He doesn’t get it and McGregor goes back to work. He is getting off more and because he hits harder, he is doing a lot of damage. Diaz’s face is a mess. Diaz does land a few quality punches but he doesn’t have the same power as McGregor. Diaz hurts McGregor with a couple of punches. He backs McGregor up with more straight punches and has McGregor in major trouble. Diaz is pouring it on up against the cage. McGregor is rocked and is just trying to hang on. McGregor answers back with hard punches but Diaz hurts him again. McGregor is forced to shoot for a takedown but Diaz goes for a choke. He grabs a rear naked choke and gets the submission.
Winner: Nate Diaz, submission, round 2.
Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.