Diaz vs McGregor | Johnson vs Teixeira | Story vs Cerrone | Lim vs Perry | Means vs Homasi | Garbrandt vs Mizugaki | Pennington vs Phillips | Lobov vs Avila | Markos vs Casey | Magny vs Larkin | Covington vs Griffin | Uda vs Vettori
UFC 202: Diaz vs McGregor 2 main card
Main event: Conor McGregor defeats Nate Diaz
In a rematch that more than lived up to the hype and wildest expectations, Conor McGregor got his win back against Nate Diaz, outlasting the Stockton bad boy en route to a majority decision win (48-47, 47-47, 48-47). McGregor seized control in the opening rounds, landing the bigger shots and busting Diaz open by the end of 10 minutes. But the tide seemed to be turning late in the second and in the third Diaz took charge, out-landed McGregor 58-24 in the frame. But the Irishman had been there before and he survived, got back to his stool where he was laboring, breating hard. But he regrouped and came back and turned in a workmanlike effort in the fourth. The two exchanged in the fifth and Diaz landed a takedown as the final seconds ticked away to steal the fifth. One judge scored the third 10-8 for Diaz, but the other two didn’t think Diaz did enough to award the dominant number.
They said it:
Conor McGregor: “Surprise, surprise! The king is back! If you want this trilogy, it’s on my terms. I came up to 170, now you’ll come back to 155 and we’ll finish what we’ve started. I knew what I had to do this time around and I did it.”
Nate Diaz: “I came here to fight. I want number three, I gave him number two, so let’s do it. Thank you to my team, Richard Perez, Gilbert, Jake and my brother Nick Diaz he’s the best fighter in the world. Peace out Stockton.”
More from UFC 202: Results | Postfight bonuses | UFC 202 Talking Points | McGregor edges Diaz in five-round epic | Anthony Johnson rumbles to win | Garbrandt romps, Pennington, Lobov also win | Larkin impresses, Covington wins late in FIGHT PASS prelims | Watch Backstage interviews: Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson, Donald Cerrone, Mike Perry, Tim Means, Cody Garbrandt | Octagon interviews: Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson, Lorenz Larkin | Watch the first three fights of the night on-demand on UFC FIGHT PASS | Order the UFC 202 replay
When Anthony Johnson steps into the Octagon the age-old adage of “don’t blink” almost always holds true. This time, Rumble did it in record time. Johnson landed a titanic right upper cut in the opening seconds against Glover Teixeira, knocking him out where he stood. Johnson landed a few secondary hammer fists before the referee could jump in to stop it, but that was all she wrote. Rumble earned the knockout at just 13 seconds of the first round. Johnson told Daniel Cormier, who was sitting cageside, that he’s coming for the title.
They said it:
Anthony Johnson: “Oh, was it :13-seconds? I thought they said 30, that’s cool. There is no secret to power. It’s not about how hard you hit him, it’s where you hit him. When I fight Daniel (Cormier) again, the difference will be that I’m going to win. I’m going to whoop that a--. Daniel is a wrestler and a lot of people don’t realize that I’m a wrestler too. I know that grind, I know that struggle. Daniel is a true champion. I respect him a lot and he deserves that title that he has.”
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone remained undefeated at welterweight after picking up his third-straight finish victory, stopping Rick Story by TKO at 2:02 of the second round. Cerrone’s speed at 170 pounds is blazing and he capitalized with a super slick combo that rocked Story before pouncing to land punches on the ground to get the stoppage. Cerrone, who holds a win over current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, called out the champ after the fight for a bout at Madison Square Garden later this year.
They said it:
Donald Cerrone: “You know, they say you need to be able to win on your worst day and today was mine. I woke up with the worst headache I’ve ever had and I just wasn’t feeling it. It was hard to find the groove tonight. My coaches were getting me fired up and ready to go but I was able to get through it all and get out there and do the job. There were moments where I didn’t know what I was doing but I’d hear my coaches and fire back up. I was able to do a good job out there even when I was not feeling great so that’s all that matters. I called out Eddie Alvarez for New York because I already have a win over him and I think I deserve it. I would only go to lightweight again if it meant an immediate title shot though. My coaches love 170, I feel great at 170. I think I can do both, right?”
Mike Perry didn’t seem to have any Octagon jitters, as he rocked Hyun Gyu Lim several times in the first round before finishing him with an overhand right and another shot on the ground to earn the TKO stoppage at 3:38 of the first round. Perry out-struck Lim, 57-11 and 40-11 in significant strikes to cruise to the one-sided win.
They said it:
Mike Perry: “I felt good out there. It was a big deal for me, against a big opponent. I was pumped up. Each punch was wilder than the next and I was dropping him so I felt good. I tried to compose myself, clean it up and finish him and I got the job done. I was surprised by how tough he was. His ability to keep fighting was really impressive. I had him in the crucifix and, man, he got out. He kept fighting and fighting. He was tough as nails. This is the UFC though so I expect world class competition and I was ready for it. I’ve been ready for the UFC for a long time so that kept me calm and kept the nerves out. I wanted to take it all in and have some fun. I had a little bit of nerves walking out but when I got in the cage and saw this big dude across from me, I thought ‘we’re going to have some fun’ and that made me stay patient. It made me have a good time and enjoy myself. I kept telling myself ‘You’re here. Don’t waste it.’ Nothing needed to be new. What got me here is what I had to do and I did that. This is a tough division but I’m a tougher guy. I’ve got no losses and I just put on a show so I would love to see a fight in the top-15 or at least the top-30. I’m here to prove that I’m the best there is.”
Hyun Gyu Lim: “I am very emotionally upset right now, I don’t really know what to say other than that.”
Tim Means returned with a statement win after a six-month suspension to finish Sabah Homasi by TKO at 2:54 of the second round. Means landed a pair of big elbows in the first round that opened Homasi up. As blood started to run over his eye down his face, Means turned up the volume but a tough Homasi made it through the round. But in the second round Means took it to another level and started smacking Homasi around the Octagon before the referee stepped in to stop the punishment midway through the second round.
They said it:
Tim Means: “It feels absolutely incredible to be back! It had been a while so I went out there swinging for the fences and had to calm myself down and make sure I wasn’t rushing anything. I knew I had to get the job done. During my time away, I actually went out and got a job as a welder, working a 9-to-5 and it showed me how much I love what I do. When it got taken away, I had to find a trade and learn something new but I just missed this so much. I kept a positive attitude and focused on my daughters and staying out of trouble and I got back here tonight. My camp was incredible. I have great coaches and a great team. They really took care of me. Other fighters need to take notice of what we do. Right now, I don’t want to take it for granted. I don’t think I’m in the position to call someone out so I’ll wait for Joe (Silva) to sort that out. I’m going home, going fishing. I’m happy to get a win and I’m ready to go out there and do it again!”
Cody Garbrandt landed a short straight right as Takeya Mizugaki was leaning away from the left and then “No Love” exploded with a barrage to a downed Mizugaki to finish the fight at :48 of the first round by TKO. As Mizugaki collapsed, Garbrandt pounced and landed a couple more for good measure before the fight was called. After the fight Garbrandt called out Dominick Cruz as he has been doing for months and Cruz seemed open to the idea from his spot on the FS1 desk in T-Mobile Arena. Garbrant has now won four in a row in the UFC bantamweight division (10-0 overall) which is good for second-best win streak in the division behind Cruz’s five.
They said it:
Cody Garbrandt: “I don’t know where the first-round knockout power comes from, I guess my power hereditary. My uncle was a knockout artist and I’ve had it since early on – since my early boxing days. I have power in my hands and I throw hard and heavy. Leading up to this fight I didn’t watch any film on Mizugaki, I just know he’s been around for a while and I respect him. I knew with a fighter like that and a veteran like that, I had to get in there early and take him out. I put him away faster than Cruz. I’m a different beast than Cruz. I’m a young, hungry lion. I’m mentally and physically strong. He’s never faced a fighter like me. I’ll track him down no matter how many rounds it goes – the first through the fifth and just punish him. He has a lot of weaknesses: his insecurities, his lack of confidence. He tries to make fun of fatherless children. A lot of people come from broken homes in America and he wants to make fun of that, but I’m going to show him who his daddy is.”
Takeya Mizugaki: “I felt like I was moving very well. I could see his punches so I thought I could move in on him but when I did, I got hit by something big. That was it, it was over. Cody’s power surprised me. I came to and didn’t know what had happened. I can’t begin to think about my future at this time. I lost to Cruz and now I’ve lost to Cody so I know that I can’t be top-five in the division. I need to go home and think long and hard about things.”
In what turned into quite a grappling contest, Rocky Pennington’s three takedowns and 33-15 advantage in significant strikes earned her the unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The win is the fifth of Pennington’s UFC career, which is tied for third-most in women’s bantamweight history.
They said it:
Raquel Pennington: “I expected Elizabeth to come out and want to wrestle and hold me down, and that’s exactly what she did. I’m on a winning streak and I want a big fight. I know a lot of people keep talking about a rematch with Holly Holm and of course I want that rematch. I want to take on anyone who will challenge me and of course I feel like I won that fight, I want to show I’m the better fighter; but, as I continue to climb the ranks I also feel like I’ve moved past Holly. I know I’m getting better every time out and I want to show that. I want someone in the top-10 next.”
Elizabeth Phillips: “I’m really disappointed. It didn’t go the way I wanted, but you win some you lose some. I wanted to show improved cardio and I think I did that but I didn’t perform to my ability and that’s a bad feeling. She was very strong but, other than that she didn’t surprise me much. I need to get back out there. I’m ready for a fight as soon as the UFC will give me one. I want to get back out there and win.”
Artem Lobov zeroed in on Chris Avila’s lead leg and landed a number of huge leg kicks to force the UFC debutant to become a one-punch striker throughout the majority of the fight as he hobbled around and dealt with the damage. In the end Lobov out-landed Avila in significant strikes, 68-44 to take the unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
They said it:
Artem Lobov: “To get this win feels incredible. It was the first win of my UFC career and it was a must-win. This week has been a lot about SBG against Stockton so to get the first win was absolutely necessary. I got the first win and Conor will get the second later tonight. These guys did some dirty and unprofessional things throughout the week, but we will get the wins tonight when it really matters. I don’t feel this win was impressive enough to call anyone out, so I’ll take whatever fight is next. When I get back to knocking people out, I’ll start calling people out.”
Chris Avila: “He just kept kicking me and won the fight. No surprises with him, I’m just not satisfied with losing a decision to someone I know that I’m better than. I want to get back out there and get a win. It was cool to be in the Octagon for the first time. I felt at home, like I’ve always been there. I’ll be back soon.”
Cortney Casey picked up a neat little first-round submission against Randa Markos, dropping the former The Ultimate Fighter contestant to 2-3 in the UFC. Markos went for the head and arm throw early in the fight but lost position and had her back taken and then reversed. Casey was able to grab ahold of the arm and sink in an armbar. Markos got turned over and was forced to tap at 4:34 of the first round.
They said it:
Cortney Casey: “I feel really good right now. I’m used to first round finishes. The first fight in the UFC with Jojo (Joanne Calderwood) was on eight-days’ notice and then I fought Seohee Ham on the other side of the world but I learned a lot in those. It does feel good to have two in a row now. Back on track! Every time I step in the Octagon, I have something to prove and I think I did that. I knew that Randa looks for that takedown a lot so I just had to be smart and not let her trap an arm. I knew I had to get comfortable and be patient and I was. She’s more of a wrestler so she likes to hold position and get stiff so I was prepared to exploit that – and I did. I’m going to take a month off but I’m ready to fight again. I want to get back out there and compete and show I’m the best.”
UFC 202: Diaz vs McGregor 2 FIGHT PASS prelims
Lorenz Larkin landed 32 significant strikes in just under five minutes, landing a nasty serious of leg kicks that left Neil Magny limping in the Octagon. Larkin kept the pressure on and forced Magny back to his feet after the two went to the mat. On a desperation takedown by Magny late in the round, Larkin defended on the fence and dropped a pair of brutal elbows that made Magny collapse, forcing the referee to jump in to stop the fight. Larkin has now won four of five since moving down to 170. His only loss came against Albert Tumenov in a close split decision. He is now poised to crack the top 10 of the division when the new rankings come out next week after taking out No. 7-ranked Magny
They said it:
Lorenz Larkin: “I came in feeling like I had something to prove tonight. I have to make an argument for why I deserve to be pushed and marketed and I think going out there and delivering a dominant performance is what it takes. All I want is to be the biggest star in this sport. Neil is a long fighter so my game plan was to go in there and chop him down with leg kicks. Being long can be an advantage but with me, it was a disadvantage because I knew his leg would be out there and I made him pay. I came in with a ‘finish or be finished’ mindset. I’m going to go back and talk to my team and the UFC and see what’s next, but I want big fights.”
Neil Magny: “The power behind his kicks definitely surprised me. Lorenz came out and did exactly what he was supposed to do; his game plan worked. I’ll be back. I’ve bounced back before and I’ll do it again.”
Don’t look now but Colby Covington has quietly put together a 5-1 record in the UFC with a big fat exclamation point that came Saturday night in the form of a third-round TKO win against Max Griffin. Covington put on a grappling clinic, landing six takedowns and out-striking Griffin 161-31 before the ref finally called a stop to the fight at 2:18 of the third round. Covington screamed at Griffin after the stoppage, claiming he’s the king. The two had a heated staredown at yesterday’s weigh-in and the bad blood was still boiling.
They said it:
Colby Covington: “Everyone is talking about my wrestling, but my striking is improving too. My sole focus in camp was my striking. Everyone knows about my wrestling and my grappling, now I want to show off my striking and that I’m a complete mixed martial artist. I think that’s my biggest advantage, I’m able to get in the Octagon and really mix it up. I train at American Top Team, it’s the best camp in the world and I’m only going to continue to evolve there. I came into pro MMA right from college, I never fought amateur, so everything you’re seeing right now is raw talent. I had him wobbled on the feet and could’ve finished it there, but I did play it safe tonight, but that was for a very specific reason. I stuck to my wrestling because I didn’t want to risk breaking my hand. Portland is home. I can draw a huge crowd up there, sell thousands of tickets. I want on that card! Joe Silva, Dana White, please make that happen. I’ll fight anyone in the top-15. Gunnar Nelson, Dong Hyun Kim, let’s go!”
Max Griffin: “I feel bad. I didn’t have any nerves coming into my first UFC fight, I just didn’t do what I was supposed to do out there. I didn’t execute the plan. I knew that his game plan was going to be to hold me down but I thought I’d be able to get out of it and strike with him. I just want to get back out there and win. I need to get better, learn more and actually execute so I can show my real skills. I want to do it again.”
Marvin Vettori submitted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Alberto Uda in his UFC debut to kick off the action in Las Vegas at UFC 202 on the UFC FIGHT PASS prelims. Vettori locked in a head and arm choke and forced Uda to tap at 4:30 on the very first round. Vettori’s confidence on the mat was evident from the start when he engaged a clinch early and the fight went to the ground almost immediately after that. Vettori was taken down but was able to reverse and worked from the top for a bit before eventually getting into position for the submission win.
They said it:
Marvin Vettori : “That was amazing! I just tried to stay as calm as possible and focus on the game plan. I wanted to do a good job and I feel that I did. I knew I was the better fighter. I didn’t think he was that going to be that strong. Those tall, lanky guys, you think they’re weak but sometimes they surprise you. When he went for the takedown, I knew I had to keep calm and try to find a way to submit him. I made him pay. Now, I want another good fight, I want to keep winning and, one day soon, I want to headline a card in Italy.”
Alberto Uda: “Everything that Marvin did tonight, I was expecting. I made a mistake and unfortunately it cost me the fight. I will go back to the gym and work hard to make sure that does not happen again.”