We watched champs fall together at UFC 196, when Connor McGregor and Holly Holm took L’s. This past weekend, Holly Holm and After a year where we had to put up with the bravado of fighters in UFC, despite their records not reflecting this confidence we finally come to a place where those claims can fall to the waist side. UFC has been fighting for attention, looking to take its rightful place in the hierarchy of the fighting business. The retirement of Floyd Mayweather after September’s bout against Andre Berto was not just a jolt of energy for boxing hopefuls who look to claim that #1 spot but it also ended a run in which the best fighter in the world was never in question. This goes for all fighting styles. UFC has been positioning Connor McGregor to be heir to the Mayweather throne since early 2014 and it seems his track record has made it an easy transition. He has a similar bravado as Mayweather, only thing he is missing is an unblemished record in his respective sport. McGregor came into Saturday Night’s fight against talented Nate Diaz (19-10) on a 15 fight winning streak in which he won his last fight convincingly in 13 seconds over former champion Jose Aldo. This seemed to be a chance to notch another victory in his legacy.
Although the fight was a bit unorthodox to begin with, Diaz had only 11 days of preparation for this fight due to McGregor’s original opponent Rafael dos Anjos withdrawing due to a broken foot. Diaz stepped up to the plate on short notice to take on the champion and from the beginning had confidence in the fact that he could beat him. If you go by all of the media, McGregor who uses his bravado well to intimidate his opponents, took on the challenge from Diaz despite the evident difference in size. McGregor had to climb two weight classes to match Diaz who fights normally at 170lbs. This turned out to be a major advantage for the veteran. McGregor dominated most of the 2 rounds but an underestimation of the size difference could have been his down fall. His ability to knock opponents out has been his strength, especially when delivering his overhand left. Diaz was able to take those shots in the 1st round and bounce back to adjust. Connor looked to find comfort with his ability to make Diaz miss until he didn’t miss. Late in the 2nd round Diaz dazed McGregor with a straight right hand and from there he took to the offensive. Knocking the champ back forcing him to go for a takedown, which ultimately lead to his defeat. After McGregor initiated his take down, the tables quickly turned and Diaz was able to put McGregor in swift yet stern guillotine hold that forced the champ to turn his back and from there Diaz initiated a rear-naked choke causing McGregor to tap out in a matter of seconds. Just like that a new champ was crowned.
There is nothing more satisfying then seeing someone who talks as much as McGregor go down in defeat. Although, I am not a fan, I respect McGregor for his ability to take a loss in the manner that he did and bounce up with no issue. He took on a fight he had little time to scout and he did what he normally does by bruising his opponents face remarkably despite his difference in size and power. McGregor is scheduled to fight in UFC 200 in July to defend his 145lb belt. There has yet to be an opponent announced for that battle.
Holly Holm takes the L just 4 months after claiming Bantamweight title
Holly Holm defended her Bantamweight Title against savvy veteran Miesha Tate (18-5) who came in to Saturday’s bout after previously considering retirement due to being looked over by UFC with a fight with Rousey. The fight was extremely competitive and it went down to the wire. Holm had her way by staying away from the grapple expertise of Tate most of the fight. In the final round, Tate was able to get a hold of Holm placing a strong rear-naked chokehold that she couldn’t bear. Holm fought for some time throwing punches as Tate held on tightly but to no avail as she lost consciousness losing with 90 seconds left in the fight. This sets up a potential headliner between Tate and Rousey. Ronda Rousey has previously defeated Tate 2 times from arm bar submissions and would be returning back to action after taking her first lost just last year. I look forward to more UFC fights that actually live up to the hype as these two did. What did you think of UFC 196? Did the losses by two champions hurt or help the sport as it goes forward? Leave a comment and let me know.