On Saturday, Aug. 20, the UFC hosted UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In the night’s main event, former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz rematchesdcurrent featherweight champion Conor McGregor in a welterweight contest. The pair met earlier this year at UFC 196, with Diaz submitting the Irishman by second-round rear-naked choke. The 31-year-old Diaz took the fight on less than two weeks’ notice after then-champion Rafael dos Anjos was forced out due to injury. The loss for McGregor marked his first defeat inside the Octagon and snapped a 15-fight winning streak that dated back five years.
Also on the card, a pair of former light heavyweight title challengers locked horns as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson took on Brazilian Glover Teixeira.
The 12-fight event kicked off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET with three fights streaming on UFC Fight Pass. Four additional preliminary card bouts followed at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, with the five-fight main card airing live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz put on a show in the night’s main event. McGregor attacked with leg kicks to open the fight. Diaz absorbed the kicks, but his movement was slowed and McGregor was able to tee off with punches. McGregor dropped Diaz twice in round two, but let him return to his feet. A cut on the bridge of Diaz’s nose bled badly midway through the round. Late in the round, Diaz was able to pin McGregor against the fence and batter him with body shots. The momentum continued to swing in Diaz’s favor in round three as he pressed forward. McGregor’s output slowed as he absorbed punch after punch. When the fourth round started, McGregor found his second wind. He returned to throwing leg kicks and opened up cuts above and below Diaz’s right eye. Diaz frequently wiped blood away just to see. The fifth round saw both fighters dig deep, but Diaz repeatedly looked to take the fight to the ground. He would get it there in the waning moments, but it wasn’t enough. Two of the three judges scored the fight in favor of the Irishman, while the other scored the fight a draw.
It only took one punch for Anthony “Rumble” Johnson to put away fellow light heavyweight Glover Teixeira and earn another crack at champion Daniel Cormier. A right uppercut from Johnson sent an unconscious Teixeira crashing to the canvas just 13 seconds into the bout.
Donald Cerrone moved to 3-0 as a welterweight, stopping Rick Story in the second round. Cerrone opened with a takedown that surprised Story. Story reversed the position, but Cerrone threatened with an omoplata and a triangle choke before the fight returned to the feet. As the round progressed, Cerrone increased his output. Round two was all Cerrone as he mixed in kicks, knees and punches. Cerrone landed a shot to the head, followed by a body shot, then a head kick that put Story on rubber legs. Cerrone smelled blood and flurried for the finish.
Mike Perry made a big statement in his UFC debut, stopping South Korea’s Hyun Gyu Lim by punches. Perry overcame a significant reach disadvantage to drop Lim with a right hand. He followed Lim to the ground and secured the crucifix position. Lim recovered and worked back to his feet, but Perry again connected with a big shot that dropped the Korean. Perry flurried for the finish, but Lim again survived and got back to standing. Once there, Perry landed a left hand that sent Lim crashing face-first to the mat, leading to the referee’s stoppage.
Veteran welterweight Tim Means kicked off the main card with a brilliant display of striking. Taking on short-notice opponent Sabah Homasi, Means survived an early takedown before unleashing a barrage of elbows, knees and punches. A knee and elbow combination opened a big cut on Homasi’s forehead, but he made it through the first round. In the second frame, Means patiently picked apart Homasi along the fence. Homasi was bloodied and battered, forcing Herb Dean to halt the contest.
Undefeated Cody Garbrandt needed less than a minute to dispatch of veteran Takeya Mizugaki. After a few wild exchanges, Garbrandt connected with a right hand that dropped Mizugaki. He followed Mizugaki to the mat and delivered another right hand that sent Mizugaki to his back. A few follow-up punches and John McCarthy waved off the fight.
Bantamweights Raquel Pennington and Elizabeth Phillips fought hard for three rounds, with Colorado’s Pennington taking the win on the scorecards. Phillips was desperate for a takedown from the opening bell, but Pennington was able to stay upright and score with knees to the body. Late in the first round, she scored with a big takedown. It was more of the same in round two, as Pennington again scored with more offense. The final stanza saw Pennington take the back of Phillips and threaten with a choke. Phillips was able to survive until the final bell, but she fell short in the eyes of the judges.
Artem Lobov spoiled the UFC debut of Chris Avila in a lackluster, three-round affair. Lobov chopped down the lead leg of Avila throughout the first two rounds. Avila struggled to mount any offense at any point in the fight. The third round saw Avila briefly gain top position after Lobov slipped, but he could not capitalize. When it was all said and done, Lobov took a clean sweep on the scorecards.
Kicking off the televised portion of the event, strawweight Cortney Casey submitted Randa Markos via armbar. Markos scored with a big throw and worked from the scarf hold position. Casey was able to escape and take the back of Markos. She delivered heavy shots, but Markos was able to work back to the top position. From her back, Casey attacked with an armbar and Markos was forced to tap.
Lorenz Larkin continued his march through the welterweight division, stopping Neil Magny by TKO. Larkin fired a variety of kicks at Magny early in the fight, knocking him to the mat twice with push kicks. The lead leg of Magny took a ton of damage, slowing his advance. As Magny looked for a takedown late in the first round, Larkin delivered a series of elbows. Magny crumpled to the mat and referee stepped in.
Colby Covington gave newcomer Max Griffin a rude welcome to the Octagon, battering him throughout to earn a third-round TKO. Covington’s wrestling game was the difference early, as he planted Griffin on his back. Griffin countered with a kimura attempt, but Covington’s top pressure was too much. He dropped big elbows and punches, opening up multiple cuts on the face of Griffin. In the final round, Covington’s dominance forced the referee to intervene.
In his promotional debut, Italy’s Marvin Vettori submitted Brazilian Alberto Uda by guillotine choke. Vettori quickly earned a takedown to gain top position. Uda responded with an elbow from his back that cut the Italian. A scramble late in the round allowed Vettori to attack the neck of Uda and coerce the tap.