LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on UFC 196 (all times local):
Nate Diaz has beaten Conor McGregor by submission in the second round. Diaz made a spectacular comeback after getting battered by McGregor for most of the first 1 ½ rounds. Diaz turned the fight with a series of big strikes that staggered the featherweight champ. Diaz eventually sinks in a choke, and McGregor taps out.
McGregor started Round 2 with some creative kicks and stance switches. Diaz didn't care, laughing at McGregor's spinning high kick. McGregor landed a shot to the stomach. Diaz's cut over his right eye began to bleed profusely, covering his face with the crimson mask. McGregor peppered Diaz's face with shots. McGregor's hands appeared to be too quick for Diaz's impaired vision. But Diaz replied with a huge right hand that caught McGregor's attention. Diaz began stalking McGregor midway through the round and landed multiple huge punches. McGregor's mojo slowed, and Diaz got a full head of steam. McGregor went for a takedown, and Diaz eventually maneuvered into position to finish it. The UFC is upside down.
McGregor and Diaz both talked trash while getting instructions from referee Herb Dean. McGregor comes out throwing with a big left that misses and a big high kick that buzzes Diaz. They wrap up on the cage. McGregor has made a career with heavy, accurate striking, and he starts off like that against Diaz. When Diaz throws a couple of jabs that land far short, McGregor appears to say, "What was that?" McGregor is comfortable and confident in the cage, mocking Diaz's strikes — but Diaz is undeniably landing a few. McGregor doesn't appear to fear Diaz's power, coming forward with his chin easily available. Diaz gets cut over his right eye, and he drips blood. Diaz manages to trip McGregor to the mat, but McGregor gets on top quickly. McGregor predicted a late first-round knockout, but this one is going to Round 2. AP Score: McGregor 10-9.
"IIIIIIT'S TIME!" Bruce Buffer says. Conor McGregor is in the cage for his 170-pound fight with Nate Diaz. McGregor is on a 15-fight winning streak, but he's fighting 25 pounds above his weight for his previous fight, when he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds and claimed the featherweight title in November. Diaz has won just two of his last five fights, but the veteran boxer is a tough matchup for anybody, particularly a smaller fighter.
Holly Holm went limp and appeared to be unconscious from the rear naked choke applied by Miesha Tate, the UFC's new bantamweight champion. Holm was up and moving around moments afterward, and Tate praised her fallen opponent.
"Not many people wouldn't tap out," Tate said. "She went out like a champion."
Holm appeared to be winning her first fight since she dethroned Ronda Rousey with a stunning head-kick knockout in November for one of the sport's biggest upsets. Although Tate controlled the second round on the ground, Holm picked apart Tate with punches for the other three rounds. Everything changed when Tate finally landed a desperate takedown attempt and got Holm's back. Holm fought desperately to get out, but the veteran wrestler sunk in a choke that finally left Holm limp and unconscious.
Tate was overwhelming after finally reaching her longtime goal. She lost twice to Rousey earlier in her career, but hasn't lost a fight since 2013.
"I feel like we had a great game plan," Tate said. "I had to be patient. She's very dangerous. She's capable of catching anyone at any moment. She's a very calculated fighter."
Miesha Tate is the new UFC bantamweight champion after the longest women's bantamweight championship fight in UFC history. Tate finally landed a takedown in the fifth round and got Holm's back. She sunk in a standing choke, and when Holm attempted to flip Tate off, Tate sunk the choke in further. Holm squirmed and finally tapped out.
Holm opens with some big right jabs. Holm parries another takedown attempt by Tate, who wraps up at the fence. Holm and Tate trade knees to the gut. They separate and go back to a striking match. Tate becomes more aggressive with her punches, but Holm is a veteran boxing champion who has seen it before. Holm stays busy and active on her feet, trying a big front kick. Tate tries another takedown, and Holm sprawls to defend it, landing a couple of punches in the exchange. Tate continues her aggression, but Holm peppers her with a stellar combination. Tate looks a bit frustrated at the bell. AP Score: Holm 10-9; Holm 39-37.
Holly Holm stays on the outside early, understandably eager to avoid another takedown. Holm throws her famed high kick, but it misses. Holm connects with a right hand and keeps up a superior volume of strikes. Holm defends a takedown attempt solidly. Tate lands a counter left off a kick from Holm, but again seems cautious against Holm's striking. Holm barely misses with a big left and lands a body kick that pushes Tate back. Holm defends another Tate takedown attempt. Holm lands another kick to cap a strong striking round. AP Score: Holm 10-9; Holm 29-28.
Tate comes forward, lands a punch and takes down Holm for the first time in the champion's UFC career. Tate establishes side control and tries to throw damaging elbows, but Holm stays out of serious trouble. Tate stays in top position and throws elbows to Holm's side. Holm struggles to get out from under Tate, but can't do it. Tate steps over to mount and takes Holm's back. Tate locks in a choke and tries to finish, but Holm fights furiously to stay in the fight. She gets free right before the horn. AP Score: Tate 10-9; 19-19.
Round 1: Holly Holm and Miesha Tate both start cautiously, staying on the outside. Holm lands a couple of kicks, but Tate parries and even grabs Holm's leg. Tate appears reluctant to overcommit while the crowd chants Holm's name. Holm lands a combination and later adds a heavy side kick that sends Tate scrambling backward. Tate finally lands a left counter, but it doesn't hurt Holm, who puts a left foot in Tate's ear. Holm finishes the round with a spinning kick. AP Score: Holm 10-9.
The only title fight at UFC 196 is just about under way. Holly Holm is defending her bantamweight belt for the first time since she took it from Ronda Rousey with that stunning head kick in Melbourne last November. Her opponent is Miesha Tate, who lost twice to Rousey, but hasn't lost since 2013. The MGM Grand Garden crowd is amped for a collision of two 135-pounders in their prime. Rousey isn't here, by the way.
Tate walked to the cage to Katy Perry's "Roar." Holm practically sprinted to the cage for her 11th professional MMA fight.
The big fights are on the way at UFC 196 after Ilir Latifi slammed and punched his way to a unanimous decision over Gian Villante. Latifi, a childhood friend of soccer's Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Sweden, controlled long stretches with aggression and his overall strength. He showed off that core power when he grabbed the 205-pound Villante from behind in the second round and threw him backward in a suplex. Latifi landed two more slams before the otherwise unremarkable fight ended.
After the fight ended, the crowd began to perk up. It gave a roar when former welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre was shown on the video board, and it went crazy when Conor McGregor was shown warming up backstage.
The undercard is nearly complete after Corey "Beastin 25/8" Anderson's unanimous-decision victory over Filthy Tom Lawlor. Anderson improved to 8-1 in his rising career by landing enough strikes and takedowns to win every round on two scorecards, although Lawlor was quite effective in the first round. The crowd lightly booed the announcement of the scores.
Bantamweight contender Amanda Nunes opened the pay-per-view portion of the card with a unanimous decision over Valentina Shevchenko, who got bloodied by her Brazilian opponent. Not everything went smoothly for the No. 4-ranked 135-pounder: In her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Nunes called out the name of UFC President Dana White to demand a title shot, only to be told that White was busy.
The early undercard was highlighted by Nordine Taleb's stunning knockout of Brazil's Erick Silva with a straight right hand up the middle in the second round. Taleb is a name to watch in the welterweight division with four wins in his last five fights. Taleb also got revenge on Silva, who pulled a sneaky trick when he offered a fist-bump to Taleb during their fight, only to turn it into a punch when Taleb reciprocated.
The big fights at UFC 196 are about to begin in Las Vegas.
Holly Holm is taking on Miesha Tate in Holm's first defense of her bantamweight title, which she won in November by knocking out Ronda Rousey with a stunning head kick.
After that, Conor McGregor goes for his 16th consecutive victory when he faces Nate Diaz in a 170-pound bout. The MGM Grand Garden Arena is packed with celebrities and singing Irish fans hoping to see another knockout from McGregor. The UFC's featherweight champion is fighting 25 pounds above his weight in December, when he stopped Jose Aldo in 13 seconds.
Conor McGregor will be the first UFC fighter to make a disclosed $1 million purse in his fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on Saturday night.
The Nevada Athletic Commission revealed the purses for the card late Friday.
McGregor will get a flat $1 million with no win bonus in the biggest disclosed payout in UFC history, according to the commission's records. Anderson Silva had the previous disclosed high of $800,000 for his comeback fight against Nick Diaz in early 2015.
Top fighters typically make much more on top of their disclosed payout from a percentage of pay-per-view sales and other bonuses.
Nate Diaz gets a flat $500,000 for the late-notice fight, with no win bonus.
Bantamweight champion Holly Holm will make $500,000 against Miesha Tate.