Today, UFC superstar Conor McGregor is gearing up for a foray into the boxing world, as we’re now less than a week away from his headline dominating showdown with Floyd Mayweather. On this day last year, McGregor had his hands full with a very different challenge: a rematch with the only man he’s lost to in the UFC, Nate Diaz.
McGregor and Diaz’s rematch headlined UFC 202, which went down inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unlike their first fight, which saw McGregor blow an early lead to succumb to a second-round rear-naked choke, this fight was as close as they come.
It was a battle of multiple, massive momentum swings. Just when it seemed like one fighter had taken control, and the other was a few well-placed cracks away from waking up under the Jumbotron, things would turn abruptly and violently in that losing man’s favor. Rinse and repeat. It was back-and-forth, up-and-down, madness, and it did not let up for five, frenzied rounds.
In the end – though many on Team Diaz have refuted the result – McGregor would even the score with a tooth-and-nail majority decision win. Truly, though, it was the kind of fight that doesn’t really produce a loser. Both men fought with such heart and ferocity that the battle served to raise both of their stocks to new and unprecedented heights.
McGregor and Diaz’s unforgettable bloodletting wasn’t the only memorable moment from the UFC 202 card, of course.
Also on the main card, we saw Anthony “Rumble” Johnson put Glover Teixeira down with an uppercut that probably could have knocked a planet out of orbit. Earlier on still, we saw Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone channel his inner Goku with a Super-Saiyan-esque bombardment on the ever-dangerous. Rick Story. Then of course, there were other highlights, like the violent UFC debut of “Platinum” Mike Perry, and the 48-second TKO of Takeya Mizugaki that would earn Cody Garbrandt his crack at bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz.
Yes, one year ago today, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz put on a show that helped establish UFC 202 as one of the greatest cards in UFC history. And given that McGregor and Diaz are now 1-1, hopefully there’s lots more fun to come.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/20/2017.