SAT. AUGUST 20, 2016
Los Angeles, California.
The rematch is on at UFC 202 as Nate Diaz battles Conor McGregor the second time on Saturday, August 20. Just a couple of months ago, McGregor had stated that he was retired. Now, the popular Scottish fighter is back at it to avenge his first loss since joining UFC. Before getting into the all-important rematch, let’s take a look at some of the other fights on the UFC 202 card.
#8 Raquel Pennington, 7-6, battles Elizabeth Phillips, 5-3. Although Ronda Rousey remains the most woman fighter at UFC, a lot of great women fighters have started to rise up and gain notice. Pennington should be a slight favorite. She’s fairly accurate with her strikes when connecting on close to 50%. Phillips will also have to find a way to keep Pennington from making her 2-inch reach advantage a difference maker in the fight.
Tim Means, 25-7-1, battles Sean Strickland, 18-1, in what could be a championship elimination bout. Means and Strickland have eerily similar numbers. Means is 74 inches tall. Strickland is 73 inches tall. Means has a 75-inch reach. Strickland has a 76-inch reach. Means lands 4.03 significant strikes per minute. Strickland lands 4.31 significant strikes per minute. If both guys come to fight, this should be a great match on August 20.
19-8 and ranked #10 Rick Story heads back to the Octagon at UFC 202 to battle #14, 30-7, Donald Cerrone. As to be expected, Story versus Cerrone should be another one of those great UFC fights. Story has won 3 in a row and 4 out of his last 5. Cerrone has won 10 out of his last 11. Story has won 58% of his fights via decision. Cerrone has won 53% of his fights via submission. If the fight goes to the ground, Cerrone might have the advantage.
#2 ranked Anthony Johnson, 21-5, takes on #3 Glover Teixeira, 25-4, in what most definitely will be a championship elimination bout. Johnson is a beast in the Octagon. He’s won 71% of his fights via KO/TKO. Teixeira has won 64% of his fights via KO/TKO. Teixeira might have a slight advantage due to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills. Johnson versus Teixeira could easily be one of the most exciting fights at UFC 202.
There should be no loss of drama when Conor McGregor enters the Octagon to face Nate Diaz for the second time. Although McGregor was a big favorite going into the first fight, the odds on Diaz dropped significantly on the day of the fight. Diaz got all of the late money. McGregor is the fight favorite, so far, for UFC 202. McGregor is at -135 while Diaz is at +105. It remains to be seen whether or not the late money goes on Diaz this time around like it did in the first battle.
As far as the fight is concerned, what is McGregor going to change in order to beat Nate Diaz? Diaz out struck McGregor 89 to 66. He produced 77 significant strikes to Conor’s 61. He took McGregor down once and had 2 submission attempts. McGregor should be ready for Diaz’s different style since Diaz came into the fight late. But it remains to be seen whether or not that will matter.
All in all, the UFC 202 Fight Card, the first for new owners William Morris Endeavor, promises a great night of MMA action.
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor
In the main event of UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Conor McGregor would try for a second time to get the best of Nate Diaz. After losing inside two rounds at UFC 196, Conor McGregor hoped to right the ship while Nate Diaz wanted to prove the first win was no fluke.
As it turned out, McGregor would get what he wanted while Diaz would prove he was as good as advertised in one of the best UFC main events of all time.
Heading into the fifth, the only fair thing to say is the battle between the two is an all-time classic. Diaz appeared to be the fresher of the two, landing hard shots in the clinch again. McGregor did what he could to respond, landing counters, but most of the fight was spent along the fence. At the end of the frame, Diaz tripped McGregor to the mat and spent the final seconds pounding on McGregor from top position. In the end, the judges scored it 48-47 McGregor, 47-47, 48-47 McGregor, awarding a majority decision.
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
Anthony Johnson one-punch KOs Glover Teixeira in the first round
Heading into UFC 202, the heavyweight division remained unsettled with the actions of former champion Jon Jones. Still, contenders were still looking for a chance to move up as Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixiera did on Saturday.
The question heading into the bout was whether Teixeira would be able to handle Johnson's vaunted punching power. As it turns out, he would not.
Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone continued to roll as a welterweight after besting Rick Story at UFC 202 to improve to 3-0 since moving up to the weight class earlier this year.
Cerrone (31-7 MMA, 18-4 UFC) is always confident when he steps in the octagon, and the situation was no different against Story (19-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) when they met in pay-per-view main-card bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Cowboy” dominated Story for a second-round TKO victory to add yet another successful UFC victory to his impressive resume.
Tim Means vs. Sean Strickland
Tim Means stops bloody Sabah Homasi in second round.
Sabah Homasi was a game opponent but didn’t have the skills to hold off an ultra-aggressive Tim Means, losing a second-round TKO after being battered and bloodied. Homasi (11-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) scored an early takedown in Round 1 and threw an elbow while inside the guard of Means (26-7-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC). Means got to his feet quickly and landed a crisp left hand. Means continued picking Homasi apart, drawing blood from more cuts while also working the body of his badly-tiring foe. Homasi attempted to hang tough under the relentless assault, but referee Herb Dean had seen enough and called off the fight at the 2:56 mark of Round 2.
Means is riding a two-fight winning streak, both victories coming by knockout.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki
It didn’t take long, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny Cody Garbrandt of a UFC title shot at 135 pounds.
Garbrandt (10-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) took the center of the cage right away during UFC 202 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but Takeya Mizugaki (21-10-2, 8-5) wasn’t going to give up the cage easily. The two entered into a brief exchange that saw both men’s strikes blocked by the other. Another exchange went Mizugaki's way. Garbrandt then landed a right hand right over the top of Mizugaki’s defense to set him on the canvas. The Ohioan followed up with repeated heavy strikes that forced the referee to stop the bout at 0:48 of the first round.
There was a lot of action in a limited amount of time.
*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.