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UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz (3/5/2016) - Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

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UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz
March 5, 2016
Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

Conor McGregor (168) vs. Nate Diaz (169) - Diaz, SUB (rear naked choke), R2 (4:12)
UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship: Holly Holm © (134.5) vs. Miesha Tate (135) (first defense) - Tate, SUB (rear naked choke), R5 (3:30)
Gian Villante (205) vs. Ilir Latifi (205) - Latifi, DEC (unanimous)
Corey Anderson (204) vs. Tom Lawlor (204.5) - Anderson, DEC (unanimous)
Amanda Nunes (136) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (134) - Nunes, DEC (unanimous)

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card:
Brandon Thatch (170) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (170) - Bahadurzada, SUB (arm triangle choke), R3 (4:11)
Erick Silva (170) vs. Nordine Taleb (170) - Taleb, KO (punch), R2 (1:34)
Vitor Miranda (185.5) vs. Marcelo Guimarães (185.5) - Miranda, TKO (strikes), R2 (1:09)
Darren Elkins (145.5) vs. Chas Skelly (145.5) - Elkins, DEC (unanimous)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Diego Sanchez (156) vs. Jim Miller (155.5) - Sanchez, DEC (unanimous)
Justin Salas (156) vs. Jason Saggo (155.5) - Saggo, TKO (punches), R1 (4:31)
Julian Erosa (144.5) vs. Teruto Ishihara (146) - Ishihara, KO (punches), R2 (0:34)

Event Bonuses ($50,000):
Performance of the Night: Miesha Tate
Performance of the Night: Nate Diaz
Fight of the Night: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Attendance: 14,898
Gate: $8.1 million
Buyrate: 1.5 million

Cancelled Bouts:
Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson - Injury to Johnson (Hand)
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor - Injury to Dos Anjos (Broken Foot)

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Now that you have gotten more time to dwell on it, is there a prevailing consensus on how the co-main event goes? Does Miesha stand a better chance against Holly than if she had to fight Ronda again?

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Better chance than against Ronda: yes. A good chance: I'm not feeling it. Holm's strength and defensive grappling looked amazing against Ronda, but that was one fight. I'm not jumping on the Holly Holm train quite yet but I'm in the line-up to buy a ticket. This is a really good test for her and will clear up a lot of doubts as to where she stands in the division. I'd consider her a heavy favourite here. Her striking technique is miles ahead of Tate's but I'm most looking for how cautious she fights when she doesn't have a raging bull coming at her.

 

I'm excited to see more of Shevchenko too. She could be a real contender in a hurry but Nunes has looked dangerous recently too. This fight should have excellent footwork and striking technique and is a positive sign for women's MMA and where the sport is going. Nunes is the more powerful of the two but Shevchenko may be the quicker and more precise. it's hard to tell where they are at exactly, as this current level of Nunes beat up on Shayna Baszler and McMann while Shevchenko wore out Kaufman. Not exactly fighters known for striking competency. I was really impressed with Shevchenko's grappling in that fight though and, if Nunes has the advantage standing, it may be a good option to fall back on. 

 

Also hoping to see Ilir Latifi ride out of the building on a horse still in gear after KOing Villante. Dude is mythical.

 

I dig that they're starting to load up the fight pass prelims a bit. A nice bonus for members.

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I was trying to think of who Amanda Nunes reminds me of. Turns out that person happens to be on the same card. I think the closest male comparison for her is Erick Silva. She is extremely dangerous during the opening frame, but she tends to not do as well when it's a back-and-forth effort. That's when it unravels. Shevchenko with only a handful of weeks to train managed to overpower Sarah Kaufman pretty easily through 2 1/2 rounds. How does Nunes respond if she can't stop her inside of six or seven minutes and it's a competitive fight? At 135 on the female side, you don't get too many females throwing exotic techniques. Shevchenko seems like she go for awhile while Nunes has style where she can easily get sloppy once it gets later into the fight. It's perhaps the most intriguing fight on card in that you can easily see how either side can dominate this fight.

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And unlike McCann and Baszler, Shevchenko knows what it feels like to go toe to toe with somebody of Nunes' ability from her days in Muay Thai and kickboxing. I went back and watched those two fights and McMann/Baszler had no idea what to do when they felt Nunes' power and speed (Baszler in particular knew she was hooped after the first body shot). That isn't going to happen with Shevchenko unless it's a killer blow. She's not going to wilt right away. Should be a great one.

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Miesha Tate is very hittable and that's not very bueno against a talented striker like Holly Holm who has good takedown defense and is good at fighting at distance and maintaining distance.

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Even though Holm has gotten progressively better, I wonder how Holly responds if Miesha actually lands appreciable offense? She really hasn't had that throughout her UFC run. She was winning rounds in AXS by virtue of her opponent doing nothing as opposed to her doing very little. Can she create and maintain the new fans with that style that didn't exactly floor people when she was in Legacy?

 

I mean if Holly wanted to have that marketplace as champion in a void that no one has filled other than Ronda, she would be encouraged to be more fan friendly fights. Yet, as a Jackson/Wink fighter, that doesn't seem like a viable choice. If the best possible gameplan makes the fight super entertaining or anything that's not that, they stick to their guns no matter what. However, the worst possible scenario is the fact that people tune in and get discouraged to see that it's not a quick knockout or an epic 20 second armbar. In addition, there is a good possibility of seeing Tate standing way across the octagon, not knowing to approach Holm, and fighting a lackadaisical fight like she has done in the past. This goes especially knowing that the fight afterwards is going to be balls-to-the-wall.

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Miesha Tate is very hittable and that's not very bueno against a talented striker like Holly Holm who has good takedown defense and is good at fighting at distance and maintaining distance.

 

I think that Miesha has a better shot because I don't think that she will forget that she's a wrestler unlike Ronda who forgot she was a judoka. 

 

Of course, that's all null and void until we see how Miesha responds after the first time she gets potatoed in the eye.  We will see how elite Miesha's hybrid striking is when it is up against Holm's world class boxing.

 

Hell, I think that Miesha has a better chance of beating Ronda next time around now that Ronda knows she's vulnerable and there is no invulnerability mystique rep to be afraid of.

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How dynamic is Miesha at wrestling though now that she is with Robert Follis and Xtreme Couture (who has been with her since the last fight w/ Ronda IIRC)? How many times against a legit opponent were you wowed by her wrestling and grappling chops?

 

Other than instances against Jessica Eye, I think the last time for me was that Strikeforce tournament they did on Challengers.

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How dynamic is Miesha at wrestling though now that she is with Robert Follis and Xtreme Couture (who has been with her since the last fight w/ Ronda IIRC)? How many times against a legit opponent were you wowed by her wrestling and grappling chops?

 

Round 3 of the Tate / McMann fight did not sell you on Cupcake's graps and ground and pound then? 

 

McMann shot and got a takedown but didn't do diddly while on top thanks to Tate's wrist control, meanwhile Tate spent almost all of R3 making ground adjustments while on top and doing damage.

 

All that against McMann who is supposedly heralded as one of the best wrestlers bar none in the weight class.

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How dynamic is Miesha at wrestling though now that she is with Robert Follis and Xtreme Couture (who has been with her since the last fight w/ Ronda IIRC)? How many times against a legit opponent were you wowed by her wrestling and grappling chops?

 

Round 3 of the Tate / McMann fight did not sell you on Cupcake's graps and ground and pound then? 

 

McMann shot and got a takedown but didn't do diddly while on top thanks to Tate's wrist control, meanwhile Tate spent almost all of R3 making ground adjustments while on top and doing damage.

 

 

That's been one of the biggest complaints of McMann throughout her career though. She's never been that fighter out here donkey konging chicks. There was the Gaff fight, but that's probably more on the fact that Gaff is not very good on the ground and a 125er. McMann gets you on the ground and then that's basically it. If she gets you back on the ground, then that's good for her. However, if she doesn't, she will just wait until the next round (that turned out very bad against Nunes). For someone of her pedigree, no one has been too overly impressed by what she can do in terms of controlling people with her grappling and ground control.

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Key to beating Holly Holm is closing distance, don't get peppered by her long limbs and work her over in the clinch.  Tate needs to close up her defense get in close and make it dirty.

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Isn't Tate's wrestling game primarily built on long distance power doubles? I don't see that working against Holly... at all.

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Isn't Tate's wrestling game primarily built on long distance power doubles? I don't see that working against Holly... at all.

 

Now there is a legit argument.

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The Big Question for Tate/Holm is which Holm will show up the one from her 1st 2 fights or the one against Rousey?

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Key to beating Holly Holm is closing distance, don't get peppered by her long limbs and work her over in the clinch.  Tate needs to close up her defense get in close and make it dirty.

 

Tate has to do something that make the judges second guess scoring those rounds for Holm. The only way she can turn a fight people would typically score 49-46 Holm into a fight that possibly could be 48-47 Tate is grind Holm against the cage and dirty box her. In the center of the cage, how is she going to complete a double leg without getting shrugged off and sitting on her ass looking up at Holm? If it stays there, that's where Miesha could inevitably run into a head kick.

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Keys to the cage:  Avoid being punched in the face.

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Keys to the cage:  Avoid being punched in the face.

What does that have to do with anything?

 

 

That was your analysis stating the obvious boiled down into one statement.

 

We all know that Holm's has a reach advantage and she's the best pure boxer MMA regardless of gender. 

 

It is painfully evident that Tate is going to have to get in close, clench and dirty box to stand a chance in the striking game and ultimately she wants takedowns and ground / pound opportunities, but that is easier said than done given Holly's footwork and cardio.

 

Holly is going to counter by moving laterally, striking at angles, and stuffing takedown attempts.  She's also going to employ that oblique kick to keep Tate at range and degrade her mobility.

 

Tate is faced with the same conundrum that Ronda was; getting Holm on the mat without getting her face smashed by counterstrikes when she takes the shot.

 

Ronda got hit in the face and forgot she was a judoka.  Tate must remember her wrestling no matter how many times she gets punched and not getting punched that much would be ideal.  Cupcake needs to work on her strength training and cardio this time around.  She can't afford to gas out while she's grappling and she sure as shit needs to make sure that when she shoots, she gets Holly to the ground nearly every time.

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How is Holly Holm the best pure boxer in MMA when she barely uses her boxing? If we were only discussing just female MMA, most people wouldn't even go with Holm. They would probably go with someone like Mizuki Inoue or Hisae Watanabe (who just came back), who has probably more knockouts with her hands than Holm has knockouts in boxing and MMA.

On the male side, you have a whole slew of people who mechanically you take over Holly Holm. Yes, Holm is a good boxer and won world titles but there is a reason she got knocked out by Anne Sophie Mathis. That's why she is more a workrate kickboxer in the same way was a workrate boxer. She is more about activity and protecting herself than she is sitting down on a punches, which is kinda critical when it comes to boxing. If someone is willing to run headlong into your punches, anybody can look like Michael Nunn.

As far as my above analysis, that isn't an obvious statement when literally nobody stated it above including you, who went into something banal and then got passive aggressive when no one agreed with you.

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