For the last few years, it’s pretty safe to say that Conor McGregor has been the dominant name for UFC. His personality and charisma showcase a character who brings a dominant spirit into the octagon, while allowing him to easily dominate the mic on the build-up to fights. The charming Irishman is every bit a hype man as he is a world-class fighter.
For anyone who decided to watch UFC 196 online, you’ll have seen that McGregor finally had his star shook out of the sky. At least a little. The fantastic Irishman suffered in his battle with Nate Diaz. The great Diaz defeated him via submission with a rear-naked choke in the 2nd round.
It surely was impressive stuff and was for the first time a slight against the McGregor brand. As someone who was making a name for himself in the arena, it was the first time that McGregor had found himself in a position whereby his image had been dented.
UFC 196 is likely to go down as one of the most memorable events of 2016, for sure. However, the event itself was filled with controversy on the build-up, having originally been billed as UFC 197 and intended to be set in Brazil, at the Arena da Baixada. Unfortunately, injuries to the other main attractions on the night – guys like Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum. Fighters like these made that impossible to hold. Instead, the old UFC 196 was cancelled and replaced with this showpiece event at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
Beforehand, the event was supposed to be a Lightweight Championship fight between McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos. It would have been only the second time in the whole UFC that separate weight divisions would clash for one title; a showpiece occasion, fitting of someone as media-savvy as McGregor.
However, everyone that was about to watch UFC 196 online could see that instead, dos Anjos broke his foot and McGregor instead challenged the already defeated Jose Aldo. Refusing due to a lack of time, the Irishman soon turned his gaze towards the mouthy but charismatic Diaz. Although many weren’t too enthused at the idea of the fight, it turned out to be one of the most dramatic of the year.
The two fighters, McGregor and Diaz, took to the octagon and had a wild first round before a rear-naked choke in the second led to the fight being ended. It was a huge shock and, for the rest of the year until the rematch, created a rather interesting subtext to the whole UFC.
Having been built up as both persona and performance, to see McGregor fall was a huge surprise – especially at such a stage in the fight. It gave Diaz the chance to walk away with a cool $500,000. As well as a huge surge in credibility.
For McGregor, though? It was transformative. Still, as cocky as ever, he’s transformed his style since and had already put Diaz back in his place. He stands alone once again as the most popular and dominant name in the division, but for a little while? It looked different.
Watch UFC 196 Online