LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The UFC had two huge shakeups Saturday night that may alter the course of the promotion for years to come. Both Miesha Tate and Nate Diaz pulled off shocking upsets by decisive finishes in fights they were losing.
With all eyes set on a Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousery rematch, Miesha Tate threw a serious monkey wrench into those plans by choking the champion Holm unconscious in the fifth round of their title fight. Holm was leading on all three judges’ score cards going into the final round 38-37.
Tate almost ended it with a flurry in the second round that nearly put Holm away but couldn’t finish. It led to Tate winning the round by a lopsided score of 10-8.
It was announced shortly after the match that Ronda Rousey contacted Dana White asking for the next shot at Tate, a wish he gladly granted for the UFC’s most popular fighter and resident cash cow.
The scenario may set up a complete full circle for everyone involved. If Rousey wins the rematch which is likely considering she has already beaten Tate twice, it would then set up a rematch between Rousey and Holm with once again Rousey being the champion. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.
The Tate win was a shocker, but nothing compared to the main event that saw Conor McGregor suffer his first UFC loss at the hands of Nate Diaz. They fought at 170lbs which is 25 pounds heavier then McGregor’s normal weight class of 145 where he resides as the current Bantamweight champion.
McGregor pounded Diaz bloody and raw for two straight rounds until getting caught with a shot himself that stunned him. McGregor tried for the takedown but Diaz quickly gained top control, taking the back of McGregor and choking him out.
Just like that, a raucous crowd of McGregor supporters went silent. It is not likely that McGregor will be fighting at 170 anytime soon. Dana White mentioned there is a better chance of him dropping the 145lb Bantamweight title and bumping up to his natural weight of 155 to challenge Rafeal dos Anjos for the Lightweight title.
It was a wild night that also saw Diego Sanchez get back in the winning column with a dominant unanimous decision win over Jim Miller. Vitor Miranda had perhaps the biggest knockout of the night with a stunning head kick KO over Marcelo Guimaras.
The following fighters were awarded $50,000 bonuses
• Fight of the Night: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor
• Performance of the Night: Nate Diaz and Miesha Tate