Welcome to MMA Squared Historical Wednesday.
Three years (and one day) ago UFC 196 saw two unlikely champions hit peaks never before seen in either of their careers. In the co-main event, Miesha Tate avoided the fate of becoming the Ken Shamrock to Ronda Rousey’s Royce Gracie when she choked out Holly Holm to win the women’s bantamweight championship.
With Rousey’s two wins against Tate, we could have seen a rock, paper, scissor game between the three women had Rousey returned to the game sooner and I’m still disappointed that never played out. If the original trilogy of women’s champs are eventually defeated by Amanda Nunes (two down, one to go), that will put a bow on the storyline.
In the main event, the shortest and greatest press tour between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz resulted in Diaz the Younger finally coming into his own as a needle mover. While the fight was one of the better two-round affairs you’ll see, the lead up provided almost as much entertainment and we saw for the first time an opponent who would not be shaken by McGregor’s psychological pre-fight assault.
While detailing the perceived weaknesses of a skinnyfat Diaz, McGregor compared him to a weakened gazelle, ripe for the kill. Without a trace of irony Diaz responded “No one knows what a gazelle is anyway… this is America b*tch, get it right.”
If you’ve got any requests for Historical Wednesday, let me know in the comments below. Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Chris.