Magnificent McGregor avenges Diaz defeat

Conor McGregor celebrates after winning his welterweight bout against Nate Diaz
Conor McGregor celebrates after winning his welterweight bout against Nate Diaz

UFC featherweight Conor McGregor beat Nate Diaz by majority decision to avenge his UFC 196 defeat.

The Irishman was shocked by Californian Diaz's second-round rear-naked choke in their welterweight bout in March, and ever since he has sworn revenge, with the rivals resorting to throwing water bottles at each other during a pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas this week.

McGregor made sure he was only throwing punches and kicks when the pair reunited in the Octagon on Saturday night and as both men remained standing following five hard-fought, bloody rounds, the judges had the final say, scoring the bout 48-47 47-47 48-47 in the Dublin fighter's favour.

After a defensive first round, McGregor dropped Diaz with a kick and soon had him back on the canvas with a big shot.

The American, supported by the Las Vegas crowd, responded with a left-handed jab in the third, taunting McGregor before moving into a clinch.

Blood began to flow from Diaz's right eye during the fourth round as McGregor locked him against the fence, with the Irishman countering well in the fifth as his opponent looked for a double leg takedown that might swing the scores in his favour.

But come the final horn, it was McGregor who had his arm raised in Nevada.

And like his fallen foe, the 28-year-old will not be satisfied until the rivalry is extended to a third, decisive, showdown.

"All I know is that it's 1-1," McGregor said. "Let's regroup and do it again!

"This time I want to do it at 155 pounds, I came in at 170 with him as the bigger man and I overcame that adversity.

"Now this trilogy is on my terms, come back down to 155 and we'll do it."

Referring to the shots that Diaz seemingly absorbed without feeling much pain in the later rounds, with the American looking unruffled as he tried to take the fight to the floor, McGregor added: "He took them better than I expected. He didn't let me know.

"I proved the class difference. That toughness and durability that he has crept back in during the later rounds but I feel happy to come away with the win.

"He's a hell of a competitor."

Diaz - the 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist - echoed McGregor's demands for a second rematch.

He said: "Hey, good job today, Conor, but we're going for three. For real. Until then I ain't coming back."