UFC 196 Results: ‘McGregor vs. Diaz’ Play-by-Play & Updates

Mar 5, 2016


Sherdog's live UFC 196 coverage kicks off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara

Round 1

Ishihara throws a body kick just as he touches gloves with Erosa, then lands a few more in the ensuing 30 seconds. Erosa waves him forward and then walks into a left hand from the Japanese import. “Juicy J” drops levels momentarily and eats a knee from Ishihara, then scrambles up again. Ishihara’s speed advantage is apparent through the first two minutes of the bout as he circles Erosa to deliver more body and leg kicks. Erosa tries a shot from a mile out and is easily brushed aside by the southpaw. Erosa catches an inside leg kick but is unable to trip Ishihara to the floor. Erosa goes southpaw to shield his reddened left leg from further kicks. With 90 seconds on the clock, Erosa pushes Ishihara against the cage; after a few seconds of inactivity, referee Chris Tognoni tells the featherweights to stay busy. They trade short knees inside, then they’re split up by Tognoni with 40 seconds remaining. From his back foot, Ishihara cracks Erosa with two more hard left hands. Erosa grabs a leg off a kick and takes down Ishihara to half guard just before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Ishihara
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Ishihara
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ishihara

Round 2

Erosa comes chasing after Ishihara early in the round, misses with a looping right hand and gets floored with a beautiful left hook counter. Erosa drops to his back, eating another left on his way to the mat and then a few more punches on the floor which knock him out cold.

The Official Result

Teruto Ishihara def. Julian Erosa via KO (Punches) R2 0:34

Jason Saggo vs. Justin Salas

Round 1

Saggo opens the striking with a few kicks inside the lead leg of southpaw Salas, but there’s not much else in the way of offense through the first 60 seconds. Salas winds up on a combination but only connects with a reaching punch to Saggo’s midsection. Salas catches a kick and runs Saggo to the ground, where the Canadian uses rubber guard to catch Salas in a kimura. Saggo uses the armlock to sweep Salas underneath, then passes to cross side control on Salas’ left. Three minutes in, Saggo is looking to mount; he’s blocked by Salas and instead moves to north-south position, where he seems to be hunting for Salas’ right arm or leg. Salas rolls to his knees and has his back taken by Saggo, who continues to pepper the American with punches in between hunting for submissions. Salas nearly gets to his feet, but Saggo gets both hooks set and rides him back to the ground. Saggo smells blood -- literally, as his punches have cut open Salas’ face -- and goes full-on with his punching, trying to force a stoppage from referee Yves Lavigne. Salas is on his knees, taking unanswered shots to the sides of his head and then more punches under the armpit, and the ref calls a halt to the bout.

The Official Result

Jason Saggo def. Justin Salas via TKO (Punches) R1 4:31

Jim Miller vs. Diego Sanchez

Round 1

Sanchez charges out of the gate and tries to put pressure on Miller, who stays on his back foot and catches the “Nightmare” with a counter uppercut in one exchange. Miller switches between stances in the opening 90 seconds but lands his most effective punches from southpaw, tagging Sanchez with a pair of hard, straight lefts. Now it’s Miller upping his aggression, backing Sanchez toward the fence with kicks and then delivering a knee. Midway through the round, Sanchez shoots in behind a punch and double-legs Miller to the ground at the base of the fence. Miller wraps up tight with closed guard, then switches to rubber guard as Sanchez picks away with left hands to the ribs from the stalemate position. Sanchez stands up, looking to reposition on top with one minute remaining, and he stuffs down Miller’s legs when the New Jerseyan throws them up in search of an armbar. Miller soon pulls Sanchez back into guard, but it doesn’t last long, and Sanchez drops a couple hard punches on Miller’s face when he has the room. Sanchez finishes the round strong, dropping some hard elbows on Miller in the final 20 seconds.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Sanchez

Round 2

Miller moves around the edge of the cage while Sanchez stands his ground in the center, inviting Miller’s offense. Sanchez gets tired of waiting and lunges forward to strike, but he’s picked off by a Miller left hook. Miller thumps the body of Sanchez with a left kick, only to have it caught and converted into another Sanchez takedown. This time, Miller is able to post and stand with relative ease, and now the lightweights are back to trading in the center of the cage with 2:30 on the clock. Miller lands a long left hand, a body kick, but he gets his head snapped back by a Sanchez right straight during his next kick attempt. The fighters both change levels at the same time and appear to clash heads, and an awkward bit of stumbling leads to a brief clinch on the fence. Back to the center they go with a minute remaining. Sanchez shoots on Miller’s legs and gets caught in a front headlock, which Miller uses to land a few quick knees. They separate and Sanchez shoots again, and this time Miller spins around to take his back in the scramble, but time expires soon after.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Miller
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Miller
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Miller

Round 3

Miller goes back to circling the outside, touches Sanchez with a nice jab but takes a right hand in the next exchange. Sanchez goes looking for a single-leg takedown but Miller keeps his balance and hops free of the attempt. Sanchez sticks a jab, waits for Miller to throw a low kick and counters with another stiff right hand upstairs. Still holding the center of the cage, Sanchez ducks under a Miller left hand and gives him a punch on the body as they separate. With just under half a round remaining, Miller scores with a nice leg kick, then the lightweights get into a close-quarters exchange in which both seem to land. Miller drives on Sanchez’s legs inside the two-minute warning, but Sanchez evades the takedown. Now it’s Sanchez looking to bring the fight to the ground, but he’s stuffed. Miller is wearing the worst of the damage with a red face and bloody nose, and now Sanchez adds another right hook to his face. Sanchez denies another takedown attempt, now inside the final minute. Miller charges forward with reaching punches which Sanchez ducks underneath. Sanchez wraps up Miller’s legs for a takedown, but Miller pops right back to his feet. Sanchez gets the final word in the waning seconds of the bout with a few good right hands up top.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Sanchez (29-28 Sanchez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Sanchez (29-28 Sanchez)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Sanchez (29-28 Sanchez)

The Official Result

Diego Sanchez def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) R3 5:00

Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly

Round 1

Skelly lands a hook to the body but drops to his knees as Elkins clips him with a punch while leaning into the pocket. Elkins takes a right hand in order to close the distance and push Skelly against the cage. After taking a few punches to the body, Skelly breaks out of the clinch and circles to the other side of the cage. Elkins comes swinging at him and pays for it when Skelly drops him with a counter right hand. As Elkins jumps back to his feet, Skelly pops him with a knee, but Elkins eats it to initiate another clinch on the fence. Elkins drags Skelly to the ground, then has to stand up when Skelly attacks with a heel hook. Skelly releases the hold and then attacks Elkins’ other leg, but “The Damage” rolls away from the fence and loosens the grip on his leg. Left unattended, Skelly climbs back to his feet with 2:10 on the clock. Elkins comes back to clinch, shoves him against the cage but can’t do much with the position before Skelly escapes. Elkins scores with an uppercut in the next exchange, then a right hook, and the punches seem to have made Skelly a bit more tentative. The featherweights tie up inside the final minute and punch one another to the body before disengaging.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Elkins
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Skelly
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Elkins

Round 2

Elkins takes about 40 seconds to get Skelly against the fence, wrap up his legs and dump him to the ground. As they hit the mat, Skelly tries to scramble and take Elkins’ back, but Elkins twists around to claim top position, now about 90 seconds into the round. Elkins passes to side control on Skelly’s right and begins thumping him with solid left hands. Skelly rolls to his knees, his right side flush to the fence, but Elkins is giving him no space for escape. Elkins goes underneath Skelly’s armpit with an uppercut, adds a few more left hands, then knees to the body when Skelly gets back on his feet. Elkins keeps his arms wrapped around Skelly’s waist, gluing him to the fence. Skelly reaches for Elkins’ back leg and tries to roll him to the ground, but Elkins is wise to it and stuffs him underneath. It’s top position again for Elkins, still mashing away with punches as the round enters its final minute. Leaning left to right across Skelly’s body, Ellkins briefly considers an arm-triangle choke before releasing to resume his ground-and-pound. An elbow from the grounded Skelly opens a cut near Elkins’ right eye in the closing moments.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Elkins
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Elkins
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Elkins

Round 3

Elkins gives the fading Skelly no room to breathe at the start of the final frame, hustling him against the fence and dragging him back to the floor. The ground-and-pound keeps coming from Elkins, socking Skelly in the face with right hands, then moving to a seated position behind him and trying a no-hooks rear-naked choke. Skelly escapes this and bursts to his feet, but he’s only there for a few moments before Elkins chases him to the other side of the cage and takes him down again. This time, Elkins jumps on Skelly’s back and secures the position with both hooks in, then goes hunting for the RNC. Skelly peels away the hooks and works back to his feet with 80 seconds left to fight. Skelly reverses to the outside position in the clinch, then drops levels to take down Elkins near the fence. Elkins is back on his feet a split-second later, but Skelly stays after him and goes grabbing for a takedown on the other side of the cage. Skelly is exhausted and there’s nothing behind the shot, allowing Elkins to push him away and circle out. Skelly walks forward swinging tired punches and gets caught with a counter right from Elkins just before time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Elkins (30-27 Elkins)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Elkins (29-28 Elkins)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Elkins (30-27 Elkins)

The Official Result

Darren Elkins def. Chas Skelly via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27) R3 5:00

Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Vitor Miranda

Round 1

Guimaraes digs an underhook and pushes Miranda against the fence, then drops low and tries to work a double-leg takedown. Miranda sprawls all over shot and nearly escapes, but Guimaraes keeps his legs wrapped up and pulls “Lex Luthor” down to the mat. Miranda gets back on his feet within a few seconds, and after the action stalls in the clinch, referee Chris Tognoni restarts the middleweights in the center of the cage. Miranda circles to his left around the outside while Guimaraes walks after him, swinging wild punches to get back inside. As soon as he’s close enough, Guimaraes clinches with Miranda and this time wraps him up with a bodylock. When “Magrao” drops down to try another takedown, Miranda unleashes a quick barrage of elbows to the side of the head. Guimaraes drops to his knees momentarily, then jumps back up to continue working on the double. The action stalls out again and referee Tognoni separates the fighters with 30 seconds remaining. Miranda rocks the head of Guimaraes with a sharp punching combination in the last hard exchange of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Miranda
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Miranda
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Miranda

Round 2

Guimaraes closes the distance quickly again, eating a body kick and a right hand in order to wrap up Miranda and hug him against the cage. Miranda breaks out of the position with a Thai clinch, doesn’t land a knee but succeeds in getting Guimaraes to drop to his knees for another takedown attempt. Same as in round one, Miranda is able to hurt the kneeling Guimaraes with nasty elbows to the side of the head (as well as one or two which appear to land to the back of the head). Guimaraes staggers to his feet, gets rocked with a head kick and takes two more punches to the face. Guimaraes is out on his feet, tilting to his side, when referee Tognoni steps in to call a halt to the bout, giving Vitor Miranda the victory by technical knockout.

The Official Result

Vitor Miranda def. Marcelo Guimaraes via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) R2 1:09

Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb

Round 1

It’s a slow and tense opening minute as the welterweights circle one another, lobbing a few high kicks and overhand punches, though neither man comes up with anything clean. Taleb connects with a body kick with his left leg and gets a counter left hook from Silva on the other side. Silva smashes the lead leg of Taleb with three hard kicks in the span of 20 seconds; Taleb seems to be having trouble keeping his footing, slipping on the canvas a few times as he shuffles in front of the Brazilian. By contrast, Silva is standing flat-footed as he walks forward on Taleb, who catches a kick from “The Tiger” and dumps him to the ground. Silva immediately kicks away Taleb and springs back to his feet with just under two minutes left in the round. Silva lands another chopping leg kick and gets a smirk from the Canadian. Taleb catches Silva rushing inside near the end of the round, underhooks an arm and puts him on his knees before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Taleb
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Taleb
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Taleb

Round 2

The welterweights stand toe-to-toe in the center of the cage to begin the round, Silva in his wide karate stance and Taleb more upright, flicking out jabs. Silva tries to front-kick his way into range but gets zapped by a pair of hard right hands from Taleb in the process. Silva keeps coming and keeps kicking; Taleb catches the next kick aimed at his body and slugs back with a powerful straight right hand which lands right on Silva’s forehead. Silva goes out cold and drops to the ground, and referee Herb Dean steps in to saved the downed fighter just as Silva wakes up.

The Official Result

Nordine Taleb def. Erick Silva via KO (Punch) R2 1:34

Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Brandon Thatch

Round 1

Thatch lands a pair of leg kicks early but gets a verbal warning from referee John McCarthy for leaving his hand open while throwing strikes. Another leg kick lands for Thatch, but Bahadurzada connects on a straight counterpunch and then checks the next low kick. Bahadurzada stands in the center while Thatch circles the outside, and two minutes into the round, the welterweights clinch up. Thatch takes the outside position on the fence but they don’t remain in the clinch long. Back in the center of the cage, Bahadurzada gets busy with a collar tie and a hard hook to the body. Thatch counters by pulling down on Bahadurzada’s head and delivering a hard knee. Thatch ducks a wide punch from Bahadurzada to step into the center and slash “Siyar the Great” with an elbow, then another knee. Thatch gets a bodylock and drags Bahadurzada to the ground with 90 seconds left in the round. Almost immediately, Bahadurzada sweeps to the top, then brushes off a triangle attempt and tries to pass to the side. Thatch retains full guard, kicks Bahadurzada away and moves to scramble up, but Bahadurzada keeps his opponent’s legs wrapped up and holds Thatch at the base of the fence. Thatch sits up against the wall and gets socked with a short uppercut, a right hand around the outside. The welterweights scramble up just before time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada

Round 2

An early front kick to the face appears to stun Bahadurzada, and a follow-up left hand on the chin nearly takes the off-balance fighter to the ground. Instead, Bahadurzada keeps his footing and changes levels to drive Thatch to the mat near the center of the cage. The frenetic pace slows as Bahadurzada gets heavy atop Thatch, trying to drop hammerfists through the American’s lengthy guard. Two minutes in, with little transpiring on the mat, referee McCarthy orders the fighters to their feet. Thatch resumes his leg-kicking, then goes upstairs with a nice right hook. “Rukus” attempts to close the distance on Bahadurzada near the fence, but Bahadurzada reverses and takes down Thatch once again. Thatch slows the ground-and-pound of Bahadurzada by entangling him in open guard, leaning left and right to deflect punches when Bahadurzada throws them. Inside the final minute, Bahadurzada gets through with a couple hard left hands to Thatch’s face, but it’s a turning into a slow, grinding fight on the ground.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Bahadurzada

Round 3

Bahadurzada backs up to the fence and clubs the incoming Thatch with an overhand right, then a sharper left hook in close quarters. Thatch is already off balance, and Bahadurzada helps him to the ground with another strong takedown, this time a few feet off the fence. The next 90 seconds find Bahadurzada scooting Thatch around the canvas, landing sporadic ground-and-pound while Thatch struggles to do anything off his back. Just about halfway through the round, the fighters are ordered back to their feet by McCarthy. Now looking tired, Bahadurzada moves back to the outside, inching around the perimeter of the cage. As soon as he’s close enough, however, Bahadurzada throws out a cluster of punches and drives in for another takedown. Leaning left to right across Thatch’s body, Bahadurzada frames up an arm-triangle choke, hops over to the other side and squeezes to force a quick tap.

The Official Result

Siyar Bahadurzada def. Brandon Thatch via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) R3 4:11

Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Round 1

Shevchenko takes the center of the cage and inches forward in the southpaw stance toward Nunes, who bounces on her toes and tests the range with a few right hands. The bantamweights continue to circle and paw through the opening 90 seconds, until Nunes breaks the stalemate with a slapping right high kick. The Brazilian slugs down the center with a few power punches but can’t find the mark on Shevchenko’s jaw. Down to the last two minutes of the round, there’s still only sporadic offense coming from both women. Nunes is the more aggressive fighter when she gets into the pocket, though her punches are not landing particularly cleanly. When she strikes from range, Nunes throws out high kicks which miss Shevchenko, who seems content to stand on the outside and wait for something to happen. With 45 seconds on the clock, Nunes wraps up and drags Shevchenko to the mat. Shevchenko keeps a tight, closed guard but Nunes finds the space to deliver a hard elbow, then a pair of right hands. Shevchenko kicks her away and stands, but Nunes trips her back to the ground at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Nunes
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Nunes
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Nunes

Round 2

Shevchenko counters Nunes’ opening body kick, sending a hard right hand down the center to get the Brazilian’s attention. Shevchenko catches the next body kick, sweeps Nunes’ back leg and kicks her on the shoulder while she’s down. From her knees, Nunes drives forward and easily takes down Shevchenko once again. Nunes postures up in Shevchenko’s half guard and lands five or six solid hammerfists to the face. The “Lioness” goes knee-on-belly to posture up and bang on Shevchenko’s face with more punches, now elbows, opening a cut near Shevchenko’s left eye. It’s all Nunes with two minutes on the clock, as Shevchenko seems unable to slow the ground-and-pound or escape from underneath. Nunes passes to side control, then full mount, then back mount. She wraps her left arm around Shevchenko’s face and tries to finish with a neck crank. Shevchenko won’t tap, so Nunes readjusts and gets her arm across the jaw. This doesn’t work either, so Nunes tries to slip under the chin for a rear-naked choke, but Shevchenko buries her chin and then twists around to reverse into top position just before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Nunes
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Nunes
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Nunes

Round 3

Shevchenko stuffs the first takedown attempt from Nunes, pulls down on the Brazilian’s head and cracks her with a knee. Nunes stands up and eats a level elbow, then tries to wrap up Shevchenko for a takedown. This time, Shevchenko is ready and reverses Nunes’ momentum into a takedown of her own. Shevchenko pins down Nunes’ left arm and leans across her body to work a kimura, but Nunes pulls both arms free, shrimps underneath and escapes to her feet. The bantamweights are back to trading strikes with 3:00 remaining in the bout. Shevchenko catches Nunes leaning in again and hits her with another pair of clinch knees. Shevchenko is coming on strong here late in the fight, while Nunes’ previously busy offense is dropping off by the second. Shevchenko catches Nunes in a front headlock, so Nunes leans over and puts a hand on the mat to avoid more knees. Instead, Shevchenko lands five or six left hands to the face, throwing until Nunes takes her paw off the ground and separates. Shevchenko presses forward, waits for Nunes to grab for her legs again and catches her in the Thai plum, but this time the Brazilian avoids the knees. Shevchenko keeps pushing forward down the stretch, stuffing Nunes to the ground one last time on another failed takedown attempt.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Shevchenko (29-27 Nunes)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Shevchenko (29-27 Nunes)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Shevchenko (29-27 Nunes)

The Official Result

Amanda Nunes def. Valentina Shevchenko via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28) R3 5:00

Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor

Round 1

The southpaw Lawlor misses with a hard left hand but steps out of the pocket before Anderson can land his counter right. Anderson gets backed up to the fence and clipped with a bundle of punches in close quarters. Lawlor tries to finish off his staggered opponent, but Anderson wraps him up for a few seconds and clears the cobwebs before Lawlor can escape. A pair of straight punches connect down the center for Lawlor, who’s keeping the pressure on Anderson from the center of the cage. Anderson comes off the fence by grabbing for Lawlor’s legs, gives up on the shot in an instant and lands a leg kick instead. Midway through the round, the 205ers are still in the same positions -- Lawler in the middle, Anderson on the outside -- but now Anderson is connecting with some probing right hands down the center. Lawlor drills Anderson with a straight left, catches him leaning in and takes a body shot to tag the “TUF” winner with a pair of right hooks. Anderson shows better head movement down the stretch, slipping a punch and popping back upright to catch Lawlor with a left hook, then finishing the round with an inside leg kick.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Lawlor
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Lawlor
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Lawlor

Round 2

Lawlor catches a kick and trips Anderson to the ground but can’t keep him there, and “Beastin’ 25/8” is back on his feet within five seconds. A nice jab from Anderson is answered by Lawlor with a hard, straight left. Lawlor switches to orthodox stance, whiffs on a right hook and goes back to southpaw. Anderson ducks under a punch, tries to wrap up Lawlor around the waist but can’t keep hold. Anderson scores with a straight right, gets backed up to the fence and catches the incoming Lawlor with another. The more effective striking is coming from Anderson through the first three minutes of this round, and his busy pawing between strikes is keeping the more compact Lawlor out of range. Anderson leans in to throw a right hand to the body and is greeted by a step-in knee. Lawlor starts throwing hands and backs up Anderson to the fence with a left hand on the jaw. He grabs for Anderson’s legs but has to settle for holding him against the fence. Anderson muscles Lawlor to his knees in the waning seconds and puts a knee on his body as he stands.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Anderson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Anderson
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Anderson

Round 3

Both men stick right hands down the center in the opening minute, but both come up short as they swing single punches at one another. Suddenly, Anderson drives on the legs of Lawlor and floors him with a takedown, passing straight to side control on Lawlor’s left. Anderson puts his weight on Lawlor and drops a few short, hard elbows on his mouth. Lawlor reclaims half guard and wraps his arms around his opponent to negate the striking space, so Anderson puts his hand over Lawlor’s mouth to make things uncomfortable. Referee John McCarthy calls for action as the fight enters its final two minutes, and Anderson obliges with some short hammerfists to the face. With 75 seconds remaining, McCarthy brings the light heavyweights back to their feet. Anderson pushes Lawlor backward with an inside leg kick, misses with a straight right and puts another kick on the southpaw’s lead leg. The final strike of the fight goes to Anderson, who sends a straight right down the center behind a jab.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Anderson (29-28 Anderson)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Anderson (29-28 Anderson)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Anderson (29-28 Anderson)

The Official Result

Corey Anderson def. Tom Lawlor via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) R3 5:00

Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante

Round 1

Villante takes the center of the cage and launches heavy kicks at the body and head of Latifi, though only the body kicks connect with their target. Thirty seconds in, Latifi grabs hold of Villante’s legs and runs him against the fence, switching to an underhook and scoring a short body punch on the American. Villante separates and again steps forward on “The Sledgehammer” to deliver a pair of inside leg kicks. Latifi catches the next kick and decks Villante with an overhand left, then chases him down and holds him against the fence again. Latifi lands an uppercut to the ribs before Villante is able to escape again, and now the 205ers resume striking with two minutes left in round one. Another short clinch yields another good right hand for Latifi on the split. Villante has to backpedal as Latifi comes headhunting with huge punches, and they wind up back on the fence. Latifi is doing good work in the tie-up with body shots, but once the fighters separate, Villante plants another hard leg kick on Latifi’s lead stem.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Latifi
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Latifi
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Latifi

Round 2

Villante looks to establish range early with long kicks on the shorter Latifi. “The Sledgehammer” sticks to the outside and connects with the occasional punch, but he seems to be waiting for Villante to do something. Suddenly, Latifi explodes into a takedown and hurls Villante to the ground at the base of the fence. Villante scrambles to his feet a few seconds later without absorbing any damage, tries to jab his way into range and gets hit with a body-head combo. Latifi waits for the next leg kick from Villante and then drives the American against the fence to work for a high double-leg takedown. Villante widens his base, underhooks Latifi’s arms and turns himself away from the fence to escape with just over two minutes left in the round. Villante is breathing heavy as he walks forward on Latifi to land an inside leg kick. Latifi wheels around with a spinning back kick that grazes Villante’s body, then waits a few seconds and throws another. With 45 seconds on the clock, Latifi tries another takedown on the fence, but Villante stuffs this attempt as well. Latifi stays glued to his opponent, eventually lifting Villante off the ground and slamming him to the mat for a late takedown.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Latifi
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Latifi
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Latifi

Round 3

After a tentative minute spent circling the cage, Latifi changes levels and shoots on Villante up against the cage. Villante once again fends off the Swede’s takedown attempt, and now the 205ers are back to plodding around the cage, waiting to burst forth with the occasional power punch or spinning kick. Latifi, with his back to the fence, steps out toward the center and bombs Villante over the top with an overhand right. He shoots for the American’s legs once again and gets brushed away, but when Villante steps forward, Latifi swipes his face with a left hook. Villante continues to suck deep breaths as he walks slowly in Latifi’s direction. Villante loads up on a big right hand, misses and gets taken down as Latifi ducks underneath. Villante sits up against the cage and reverses Latifi, who scrambles up during the transition to finish the fight on his feet.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Latifi (30-27 Latifi)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Latifi (30-27 Latifi)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Latifi (30-27 Latifi)

The Official Result

Ilir Latifi def. Gian Villante via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00

UFC Women's Bantamweight Title Fight:
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate

Round 1

Referee John McCarthy will officiate tonight’s 135-pound title fight, scheduled for five rounds. Tate throws out an early kick toward Holm’s body but comes up short, and now “Cupcake” sticks to the outside while Holm works from the middle. Tate catches a kick from Holm but can’t do anything with it before the champion pulls back on the leg. Two minutes in, Holm connects with a straight left down the middle which draws a smirk from the challenger. Another straight left stops Tate in her tracks just as she steps into the pocket. The left side of Tate’s face is reddened where Holm’s jab has touched a few times. Holm continues to control the center of the cage as they enter the final minute of round one, and now she sidesteps a lunging right hand. Tate is having trouble finding her range against Holm, who’s staying light on her toes and evading almost everything thrown her way.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Holm
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Holm
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Holm

Round 2

Tate ducks under a punch from Holm and explodes into a takedown, then quickly passes to side control on the champ’s left side. Tate has control of Holm’s neck, but she releases it to drive an elbow on the side of Holm’s head. Shifting back into Holm’s half guard and slams her with a short, hard elbow strike. More elbows land to Holm’s ribs as Tate leans across to work the right side of the body. Tate attacks the right wrist of Holm, throwing more elbows to the head as she works to secure the arm. Holm rolls to her knees and Tate jumps on her back, establishing both hooks with 90 seconds remaining in the round. Tate slaps on a rear-naked choke, looping her right arm around Holm’s face, but she can’t quite get under the chin. Tate keeps going, trying to slip the arm around Holm’s neck, but Holm shows great defense by peeling away Tate’s hands for the final 30 seconds.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-8 Tate
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Tate
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Tate

Round 3

Tate lands a leg kick and just gets her right hand up to block a snappy Holm high kick. Things are much more cautious on the feet through the first 90 seconds of the round, but Holm gets the first good licks in with a jab-left straight counter to a Tate low kick. Tate ducks under a punch and grabs for Holm’s legs, but the champion slips away before Tate can really get in on the shot. The slow pace continues through the center of the round, but every once in a while, Holm with put a punch on Tate’s jaw, usually as a counter to a kick. Tate tries some funky head movement but can’t fool Holm, who pops the challenger with a pair of punches and a side kick to the body on the way out.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Holm
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Holm
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Holm

Round 4

Tate walks after Holm and absorbs a few punches as she waits for a kick; once the champ throws a stomping oblique kick, Tate grabs hold of the limb and runs Holm against the fence. Holm reverses straight away and soon breaks away from the clinch to resume striking from range. It’s still slow going on the feet as Tate comes forward on Holm but doesn’t really let go with any strikes. Holm, meanwhile, breaks the rhythm with the occasional left hand or front kick. Tate tries to grab a kick, can’t keep hold, resets and dives for a double-leg but Holm sprawls all over it. Holm pulls up short on a few jabs before sending a three-piece down the center at Tate’s face. As soon as Tate steps into the pocket or looks like she’s grabbing for the legs, Holm throws a strike and circles away.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Holm
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Holm
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Holm

Round 5

Holm goes back to her oblique kicks early in the final frame, then catches Tate coming forward and slams a hard left hand down the middle. A side kick to the midsection pushes Tate back a few steps, allowing Holm to reset in the middle of the cage. Tate slips a straight left and tries to grab hold of Holm but cannot. Tate bobs and weaves, then goes under another punch and pushes Holm to the fence, where the champion quickly reverses and disengages. Tate gets one back with a push kick to the body which catches Holm off balance, but “The Preacher’s Daughter” is able to regain her footing. Down to the final two minutes, Tate goes underneath yet another punch and this time is able to drag Holm to the ground. Tate jumps on the back of Holm and slaps on the rear-naked choke, but Holm looks at referee McCarthy to indicate that she’s alright. Holm dives to the ground, trying to flip Tate off her back and slip out of the choke in one motion, but it only makes the RNC tighter. Tate keeps squeezing and Holm’s arms twitch as she goes unconscious, prompting referee McCarthy to stop the fight. Miesha Tate wins by fifth-round technical submission to become the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

The Official Result

Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R5 3:30

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Round 1

Referee Herb Dean is the third man in the cage for tonight’s 170-pound main event, with judges Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Glenn Trowbridge scoring at cageside. There’s no touch of gloves between the fighters as McGregor shouts over referee Dean’s final instructions. The featherweight champ swings and misses with a flashy kick, then gets shoved against the fence by Diaz with an underhook. McGregor breaks out in a few seconds, takes a jab from Diaz and fires back a left hand over the top. McGregor walks into range with his right hand outstretched and comes over the top with a left hand which lands hard, but Diaz eats it and jabs back. Diaz mixes up his jabs to the head and body, dodges a big left and flashes a smile at McGregor, who presses forward undiscouraged to land a leg kick. McGregor slips a jab to pop Diaz with a right uppercut, then repeats the sequence when Diaz leans into another punch. McGregor’s left hands have reddened the right side of Diaz’s face, and now three minutes into the opening frame, there’s some bleeding from around his right eye. Nonetheless, Diaz keeps sticking and moving, clicking McGregor with jabs. Diaz catches a kick and drags McGregor to the ground, but McGregor grabs hold of a leg and uses it to sweep into the Californian’s guard. Diaz shifts and spins underneath, making a hard target for McGregor’s ground-and-pound in the final seconds of round.

Sherdog Scores

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 McGregor
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 McGregor
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 McGregor

Round 2

McGregor jabs to the body, puts a stomping kick on Diaz’s thigh and hits him with another quick uppercut. Diaz comes off the fence and absorbs a few more punches before trying to clinch with McGregor. It doesn’t last long, and when the fighters disengage, Diaz is sporting a significantly bloodier face, all leaking from his right cheek. McGregor pulls down Diaz’s head for a clinch knee and gets a right hook in return. McGregor goes body-head with a pair of uppercuts and a left hook. A hard left hand from Diaz appears to momentarily wobble McGregor, but the Irishman backs up a few steps and shrugs to draw Diaz forward. Diaz obliges, attacking McGregor with heavy combinations and then pushing him against the fence with an underhook. Diaz uses his right arm to hold McGregor in place and hits the featherweight with a dozen or so left hands on the other side. McGregor comes over the top with a couple good left hands, only to have Diaz slug back with slapping punches. McGregor shoots for a takedown, gets snared in a guillotine and twists underneath Diaz to get free. The escape leaves Diaz in side control, and now he passes straight over to full mount. McGregor rolls to his belly, giving up his back, and Diaz wastes no time applying a tight rear-naked choke. McGregor taps out almost immediately, and this one is over. Nate Diaz may have just pulled off the biggest upset of 2016, submitting Conor McGregor in the second round.

The Official Result

Nate Diaz def. Conor McGregor via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R2 4:12

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