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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019


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GOOD EVENING, FOLKS, and welcome along to our liveblog of tonight’s action from UFC 196.

Paul Dollery here to keep things ticking over throughout the night from back at base in Dublin, while Niall Kelly will be reporting for us direct from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts on tonight’s fights, either in the comments section below, via e-mail ( or on Twitter: @The42_ie, @The42MMA, @PaulDollery or @NiallKelly.


  • Nate Diaz def. Conor McGregor via submission (rear-naked choke) after 4:12 of round two
  • Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm via submission (rear-naked choke) after 3:30 of round five
  • Ilir Latifi def. Gian Villante via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Corey Anderson def. Tom Lawlor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Amanda Nunes def. Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
  • Siyar Bahadurzada def. Brandon Thatch via submission (arm-triangle choke) after 4:11 of round three
  • Nordine Taleb def. Erick Silva via KO (punch) after 1:34 of round two
  • Vitor Miranda def. Marcelo Guimaraes via TKO (head kick and punches) after 1:09 of round two
  • Darren Elkins def. Chas Skelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
  • Diego Sanchez def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jason Saggo def. Justin Salas via TKO (punches) after 4:31 of round one
  • Teruto Ishihara def. Julian Erosa via TKO (punches) after 0:34 of round two

It’s almost time for the first of 12 fights tonight. First up on the prelims is Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara, live on UFC Fight Pass.

I hope you’re all stocked up on coffee, energy drinks or whatever else will help you push on through until 5am, shortly after which Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will enter the octagon for the main event.

The Fight Pass prelims broadcast is underway and Joe Rogan has had a big bowl of superlative cereal. Mike Goldberg says it could be the biggest night of fights in UFC history. I think I may have heard him say that once or twice before…

Here’s the three-fight line-up for the Fight Pass prelims, the last of which is a very tasty lightweight bout:

Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara
Jason Saggo vs. Juatin Salas
Diego Sanchez vs Jim Miller

We’re off to a flying start with Teruto Ishihara versus Julian Erosa, who you may remember as the guy who lost to Artem Lobov in the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter…

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What a spectacular stoppage for Teruto Ishihara, who knocks out Julian Erosa after 34 seconds of the second round.


“I love you my bitches!” yells Ishihara, much to the amusement of Joe Rogan.

It’s Jason Saggo vs. Juatin Salas up next on the Fight Pass prelims. One down, 11 to go.

In the meantime, take a look at the final Embedded episode for UFC 196, which features some additional footage from Thursday’s press conference spat between McGregor and Diaz, including the featherweight champion exchanging a few words with “juicehead” Jake Shields…

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

Another finish in the second fight of the night sees Jason Saggo use impressive jiu-jitsu to get back-mount against Justin Salas and secure the TKO after 4:31 of the first round.


Good first round here for Diego Sanchez. There’s life in the old dog yet.

And that was a good one for Miller. It’s in the balance as we head into the third and final frame. This fight has lived up to expectations.

It’s gone the distance. Not an easy one for the judges to call. We could very well see a split decision here.

Joe Rogan: “That was about as close to a draw as you’re ever going to see in a fight.”

When asked how he’s still competing at this level, 11 years after winning The Ultimate Fighter, Diego said it’s down to yoga and Jesus Christ.

We’re moving on to the TV portion of the prelims now for Chas Skelly versus Darren Elkins. Irish fans may remember Elkins’ unanimous-decision win against Robert Whiteford at UFC Dublin back in October.

Heading into round two. All the action is on BT Sport 2 from here on in, by the way. The main card starts at 3am. Expect McGregor vs. Diaz to begin just after 5am.

Impressive second round from Darren Elkins there. May even have been a 10-8.

Another one for the judges but it should be a win for Elkins without any controversy.

There’s Ricardo Lamas trying to look like he’s enjoying watching the fights with fans at some Harley Davidson dealership in San Diego…

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Middleweight action next and it’s an all-Brazilian affair as Vitor Maranda takes on Marcelo Guimaraes.

Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb is underway. We’re almost halfway there.

It’s time for the seventh and final prelim, then we’re on to the main card. This should be a good one between Brandon Thatch and Siyar Bahadurzada.

Fascinating fight between Thatch and Bahadurzada so far and it looks like we’re going to get a third round.

A third and final round it is. Bahadurzada is two-up on our scorecard.

He was on his way to a comfortable win via the judges but Siyar Bahadurzada gets a third-round arm-triangle choke instead…


That’s three defeats on the trot now for Thatch. A magnificent striker but has he come to the end of the line in the UFC?

The prelims are done and dusted, and we’ve now got ourselves a main card. Women’s bantamweight action between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko to get us started…

The excitement is building at the MGM Grand…

Into the second round between Nunes and Shevchenko. The less said about the first round, the better.

Shevchenko needs a finish in this third round. Definitely two rounds down, maybe even 20-17.

Nunes drops the final round but did more than enough in the first two to get the decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27).


Look who’s at the MGM Grand…

Where were you during the Cage Warriors days, Butler?

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Tom Lawlor throwing caution to the wind and putting Corey Anderson under a lot of pressure early on in this one.

Good first round for Lawlor, decent start.

This one is heading to the judges. Anderson or Lawlor?

Corey Anderson gets the decision but two of the judges surprisingly gave him all three rounds — 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.


Two fights to go until McGregor versus Diaz but it’s light-heavyweight action again next as Ilir Latifi takes on Gian Villante.

The judges are called into action for the fifth time this evening as Latifi versus Villante goes the distance.

Pretty tight first round but it looked like a 10-9 for Holm in our estimation.

What a huge round for Tate, who scored a takedown early on, dominated on the ground and then took Holm’s back, but the champion showed incredible resilience to survive the rear-naked choke attempt. Now we’ve got a title fight!

Another tight round. This is an intriguing contest. We’ve got it 28-28 at this point.

Heading into the final round, Holm appeared to edge the fourth as well. The champ goes into this last frame leading 38-37 on our card.

What an incredible fight! In the fifth and final round, Miesha Tate gets the rear-naked choke after 3:30 to become the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

What an atmosphere at the MGM Grand. Here we go…

It was a challenge for McGregor to close the distance in that first round but he still landed enough to take that opening frame,  as well as cutting Diaz above his right eye.


Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor via second-round submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC 196.

What a result at UFC 196! Thanks for joining us on the liveblog throughout the night, all. We’ll bring you reaction from Las Vegas across the day here on The42.

About the author:

Paul Dollery