Ultimate Fighting Championship 196 featuring McGregor vs. Diaz will air on March 5 from Las Vegas and has the Mixed Martial Arts world buzzing with interest. There have been several changes to the fight card leading up to the big night, but the night will still be special. The current face of the UFC (McGregor) and the only fighter to beat superstar Ronda Rousey certainly have fans waiting with baited breath. Onto the preview my friends…
(C) CONOR “THE NOTORIOUS” MCGREGOR (19-2-0) vs. #5 NATE DIAZ (19-10-0)
This is a five round main event in the welterweight division. This has got to be the most anticipated fights of the year as two very well known trash talkers will not only bring their words to the fight, but a great amount of tension that is sure to become a bloodbath that fans have been dying to see. McGregor brings striking and jiu-jitsu that has lead him to a near perfect record in MMA with 17 of his 19 wins finished by knockout turning him into the current Featherweight Champion. Diaz brings jiu-jitsu and boxing that has lead him to become a deadly opponent to stand with as well as a well-rounded submission specialist. With both fighters have standing and ground game this fight looks to be an exciting fight in the making. If the fight stays on their feet it is hard to tell who has the edge since both possess a great striking game, but if I had to chose one fighter, it would probably favor McGregor due to his deadly striking. Though, Diaz has a well-rounded game plan that looks to be far greater than any other opponent McGregor has faced before, which could be just the advantage Diaz needs to take control of the fight and make McGregor think twice about competing in the upper divisions. With what both fighters bring and how well skilled they are with their techniques it looks to be a matter of who plays the better game and can outwit their opponent and make history to be remembered for all times. My prediction: McGregor wins via TKO in Round 3.
(C) Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (10-0-0) vs. #2 Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (17-5-0)
This is a fight for the women’s bantamweight championship. These are two highly skilled women who have made names for themselves with epic performances and wins that have both wanting to face each other to discover who is better and now they will know the answer. Holm brings boxing, kickboxing and wrestling that has helped her remain undefeated and given her the deadliest striking power that has been proven time and time again and was fully understood when she knocked out former champion Rousey. Tate brings jiu-jitsu and wrestling that has helped her become an efficient grappler and also given her great cardio to where she can outscore her opponents to win fights by decision in a mostly dominating performance. The set up for this fight appears to be a striker taking on a grappler, which usually falls in the hands of the grappler due to takedown abilities and ways to control opponents from the ground. If that is the case, then Tate looks like she could take this fight in the bag as her intense wrestling always has helped her control her opponents and get her out of tough spots when she is in fatal trouble. That could be where she could take full advantage of Holm thus making Holm’s deadly striking almost useless. However, no one can forget Holm’s great takedown defense as she has avoided all takedowns and uses her striking to full effect which has been very lethal against an array of opponents. However, we have never seen Holm battle a full-grounded wrestler before so this fight will not be anything like her previous bouts, but what we all can expect to see is a great clash between these two female athletes looking to prove who is the better fighter. My prediction: Holm wins via knockout in Round 2.
#12 Corey “Beastiin 25/8” Anderson (8-1-0) vs. Tom “Filthy” Lawlor (9-5-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. In this fight are two warriors looking to begin their paths to facing top fighters in the light heavyweight division by adding another win to possibly secure a top 10 ranking in the division. Anderson brings jiu-jitsu and wrestling that has helped him become efficient in both standing and ground game making him much more of a challenge to his opponents. Lawlor brings jiu-jitsu and wrestling that have helped him become well-rounded in submissions and knockouts. With both fighters having the same techniques it looks like the fight might be hard to predict. But if both remain on their feet, it looks to favor Anderson with his impressive striking power that Lawlor does not really seem to match. If Lawlor can somehow bring the fight to the ground and keep Anderson from turning the fight into a boxing match, he might have a chance by placing Anderson in a submission hold and make a surprise win by submission. However, to do so he will have to be quick and avoid as many strikes as possible from Anderson if he wants to have a chance at winning this fight. My prediction: Anderson wins via TKO in Round 1.