Conor McGregor has avenged his first loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 by winning their second fight via majority decision after what can only be described as an absolute war.
The fight had plenty to live up to after all the controversy leading up to the event. So much so that both fighters were escorted from the locker rooms to the octagon by security, as well as several inside the octagon to separate the fighters.
As expected, the cliché “touch gloves if you want” from the ref fell on deaf ears as both fighters separated by several men made their way back to their side of the octagon.
The fight started positively for McGregor as the Irishman used his leg kicks to good effect and had Diaz struggling to utilise his boxing as his lead leg was being battered. McGregor scored three knockdowns in the first two rounds, each time instructing Diaz to get up, wary of the American’s skills on the ground.
McGregor looked set to record an emphatic victory before the very bloody Diaz started working his way back into the fight, much like their first encounter. Diaz unloaded a flurry of punches and had his opponent with his back against the cage struggling to stay on his feet. McGregor managed to survive, but Diaz had the momentum heading into the final two rounds.
Both fighters were struggling with fatigue and a slugfest developed. While McGregor seemed to find a second wind in the fourth round, Diaz controlled the centre of the octagon in the fifth and had McGregor up against the cage for the majority before scoring a takedown with ten seconds to go.
The scores were revealed, and McGregor was declared the winner with two judges scoring the fight 48-47 in favour of the Irishman, while the other deeming it a draw, giving McGregor the majority decision win.
Diaz immediately voiced his disapproval of the decision, and while a third fight between the two mixed martial artists seems inevitable, Dana White has confirmed the rematch would not happen “right now”. He also added that Connor would have to decide whether to relinquish his belt before McGregor’s next fight could be announced.