Monster Energy’s Conor “The Notorious” McGregor exacted his revenge on Nate Diaz, winning by majority decision in the welterweight UFC 202 Main Card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, redeeming his earlier defeat to Diaz at UFC 196 in March.
McGregor opened the highly anticipated rematch calmer and more strategic, employing a tactical leg attack of continuous and merciless leg kicks throughout a commanding first-round and the entirety of the fight that would ultimately pay dividends.
It appeared at first “The Notorious” might be in for an easy night as he dropped Diaz three times over the course of two rounds – but it was not to be. Diaz is infamous for absorbing punishment and as McGregor’s pace dropped halfway through the second round all hell broke loose. Diaz attacked, bullying McGregor in the clinch, and landing savage punches in bunches at will.
It was a UFC dogfight for the ages with a bloodied Diaz controlling round three and the Irishman answering back with a notable second wind in round four, complete with crisp movement and a renewed commitment to his debilitating leg kicks and ruthless counters to Diaz’ jab.
In what is undoubtedly regarded as one of MMA’s all-time classic fights, the fifth round did not disappoint as the two embattled warriors slugged it out, ground each other down in the clinch, and gave it all they had until Diaz caught McGregor with a trip and took top control just seconds before the final bell.
The final scores: 48-47, 47-47, 48-47 awarded McGregor the majority decision and reprisal for his only loss. What’s next: It appears a trilogy is a foregone conclusion, but McGregor is calling the shots with the final rubber match to be determined at lightweight – 155 pounds.
“The king is back! If you want this trilogy, it’s on my terms, said McGregor. I came up to 170, now you’ll come back to 155 and we’ll finish what we’ve started.”
Also fighting on the UFC 202 main card, Monster Energy’s Donald Cerrone (31-7 MMA, 18-4 UFC) continued his recent success as a welterweight against Rick Story with a textbook TKO stoppage in the second round.
After landing a big head kick in round two, Cerrone moved in for the kill with vicious punches to take his third consecutive win since going up to welterweight.
Despite his success at 170 pounds, Cerrone said he wants a rematch with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (who he beat by unanimous decision at UFC 178) at the UFC debut event in New York City at Madison Square Garden in November.
Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are Monster Energy’s elite UFC athletes along with Dominick “Dominator” Cruz, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Cain Velasquez, Chris “All-American” Weidman, and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.