UFC 202: Conor McGregor Beats Nate Diaz With Majority Decision
Last Saturday’s UFC pay-per-view did not disappoint as Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz entertained their cage beef once more within the confines of the T-Mobile Arena.
About halfway through the second round, the Irishman looked gassed in the non-title bout, but he dug deep for five full rounds to take the majority decision in the main event.
McGregor dominated the first round-and-a-half, forcing Diaz into stagnant periods of action while absorbing McGregor’s sharp strikes to the legs. Bloodied and wounded, Diaz seemed to re-energize and began an onslaught of flurries that forced McGregor backwards with his head snapping from the crisp attacks.
McGregor rested on his stool before the third round and it was a precursor to Diaz’s dominance throughout the round. McGregor began to traverse the outer cage, running from his opponent while Diaz taunted and pointed at his apparent treadmill strategy.
Round 4 saw McGregor reach into his soul and revive his leg kicks accompanied by heavy shots to Diaz’s face. This slowed his opponent and ultimately began the decisive moments of the battle.
As round five began, Diaz flexed at the crowd before the referee waved a final start to action and activated his clinch, keeping McGregor off-balance with punches and takedown attempts.
However, McGregor withstood and battled back in a fairly even round.
A late takedown from Diaz also cemented the round, but it wasn’t enough in the eyes of the judges, who saw the fight for McGregor with majority decision scores of 48-47, 47-47 and 48-47.
Both fighters were adamant about a rubber match, with McGregor stressing that their next encounter be at 155lbs instead of the welterweight 170lbs that they have now fought in twice.
However, in a post-UFC 202 interview with FOX Sports, UFC President Dana White was adamant that a rubber match isn’t happening, at least not soon.
“We’re definitely not doing this a third time right now,” he said. “I mean, I don’t think there’s anybody that doesn’t want to see this fight again, but Conor’s either going to defend his title or give his title up.”
McGregor, who hasn’t defended his featherweight belt since winning it with a 13-second victory over Jose Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in December, wants to remain the champ but on his own terms.
“I don’t think they’re going to do that; I mean how can they do that?” McGregor said at the post-fight press conference. “If they want to do that and want to give my belt to the guy I KO’d in 13 seconds and bury that division on the prelims or the (UFC) Fight Pass stuff, because that’s what they’re going to do, I mean, we’ll see.
“We got a lot to talk about, and I’m in a beautiful, beautiful position right now. And that was built through hard work, and I’m going to capitalize on that. We’ll see. There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline. (Expletive) is about to hit the fan here.”
Errol Spence Scores 6th Round KO of Leonard Bundu; Heather Hardy Decisions Shelly Vincent
Undefeated rising star Errol "The Truth" Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) moved one step closer to a world title as he delivered a thunderous sixth-round knockout of tough Italian contender Leonard "The Lion" Bundu (33-2-2, 12 KOs) Sunday afternoon in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC from Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn.
With the knockout, Spence Jr. becomes the mandatory challenger for undefeated welterweight Kell Brook.
"I definitely want my shot at Kell Brook and his title," said Spence Jr in the post-fight interview. "I want him next. If he vacates or gets stripped then I'll fight for his vacant title. I've paid my dues."
Brook has a Middleweight fight against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in his native London on September 10th.
In the co-main event, women’s stand-out and Brooklyn native Heather "The Heat" Hardy (18-0, 4 KOs) earned a majority decision over previously unbeaten Shelly "Shelito's Way" Vincent (18-1, 1 KO) in their 10-round bout.
Hardy's movement allowed her to create more angles for her attack as she varied her offense with overhand rights, jabs and hooks. Vincent was consistent countering, especially with her left hand that yielded much success.
The punch stats reflected the exciting nature of the fight as Hardy threw 752 punches while Shelly threw 678 across 10 two-minute rounds. It was Hardy who had the advantage in punches landed as she connected on 251 punches compared to 194 for Vincent.
Power punches were a key to the fight, with the two combatants combining for 955 power punches thrown. Hardy's biggest advantage came in this department as she landed over 50 percent of her power shots to 34 percent from Vincent.
Ironically, on the same day, Flint, Michigan's Claressa Shields won her second consecutive Olympic Gold medal, signaling a rise in women’s boxing.