Redemption for the Notorious one: Conor McGregor exacts revenge on Nate Diaz in gruelling UFC 202 dog fight
Irishman wins by majority decision; third fight in trilogy set to be agreed
Conor McGregor beat Nate Diaz in an epic encounter at UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas on Sunday morning (HK time).
In an epic rematch of their previous encounter, in which American Diaz stunned the MMA world to defeat the Irishman, McGregor wore down his opponent in a bloody encounter to take it on points.
Diaz felt he had done enough to secure the win in the highly-anticipated rematch when it went down to the judges’ scorecards, but was quick to congratulate his opponent before agreeing a finale to the trilogy should be arranged.
“Hey good job today, Conor, but we’re going for three,” said Diaz. “For real. Until then I ain’t coming back.”
McGregor dominated the first two stanzas of the five-round bout and put the American on the canvas three times – each time imploring the California-native to get back to his feet. But Diaz came back into the fight with the Irishman visibly fatiguing as the match-up wore on, and with one flurry of punches put the Irishman back against the cage.
A fantastic fight reached a crescendo in the last two minutes of round four when both fighters stood and traded rattling shots in the centre of the ring.
The final round saw both battered fighters holding on to survive till the bell seemingly confident each had done enough to secure the victory.
“I proved the class difference but that toughness and durability crept in in the later rounds,” said McGregor afterwards.
The judges gave McGregor the win on a narrow majority decision avenging his only loss in UFC.
Famously, Diaz won the first fight between the two having accepted to stand-in at just 11 days’ notice.