UFC 196. March 5th, 2016.
This might be a personal favorite. And if you are a fan of McGregor’s, I am sorry.
I loved this scrap. McGregor was rolling at this point in his career. He was tearing through the featherweight division and it became known that he had his eyes set on going up in weight. He was scheduled for a bout with the 155-pound champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. The fight was considered a big deal because Conor was being given the opportunity to capture a second belt. However, with just days remaining before the fight, Dos Anjos pulled out due to injury.
An onslaught of fighters wanted the big payday. The UFC had a decision to make.
Now let’s rewind a few months. *rewind sound on tape*
The date is December 19th, 2015.
After a short layoff from the sport, Nate Diaz returns to action in the 155-pound division against Michael Johnson. Following a stellar performance, Joe Rogan asks Diaz about his performance. The rest is history.
“F**ck that. Conor McGregor, you’re taking everything I work for, mother f**ker. I’m going to fight your f**king ass. You know what the real fight, what the real money fight is. It’s me. Not these clowns that you already punked at the press conference.”
It was safe to say that he got McGregor’s attention.
In round one, McGregor landed heavy blows with his left hand. Diaz was cut over his right eye, but that was nothing out of the ordinary for the Stockton born scrapper.
In the second round, McGregor came out confident. However, after striking Nate with a few stiff shots, McGregor seems shaken by Diaz’s ability to eat the punches. Diaz continued to walk forward, pushing the pace.
Diaz connected on a sneaky 1-2 combination that rocked McGregor. In despair, Conor shot for a takedown. Diaz welcomed the opportunity to take things to the ground and quickly sunk in the rear-naked choke. It was the first loss of McGregor’s career and a defining moment in the UFC’s history.
Many people were caught off guard by Diaz’s performance. But Diaz had a message for those people.
“I’m not surprised motherf**kers.”