UFC 196 and the Mata Leao
By Edward Carbajal
The main and co-main events of UFC 196 did not disappoint and shared the same finish, the “Mata leao.” That is Portuguese for "lion killer" and the name given to the widely known rear-naked-choke. Holly Holm suffered her first loss even though she was favored to win over Miesha Tate because of her win over Ronda Rousey. The choke also made a comeback in the main event that had Caesar Gracie black belt, Nate Diaz submit “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.
While Holm won most of the rounds it was clear when not on her feet, Tate was the better grappler. That is not to say she was out classed completely. Tate was able to secure a take-down in round two where Holm defended the side mount well and had Tate take her back. Tate worked for the same choke she would eventually secure the win with in the final round but Holm was able to escape. Holm seemed aware of it in her post-fight interview as she seemed to recognize her error in trying to roll out of the choke instead of fight off her hands.
The main-event between McGregor and Diaz was never truly recognized as what it was, a classic striker versus grappler match. While Nate Diaz is a skilled boxer his bread and butter is his jiu-jitsu. McGregor has proven to be a precision striker but when the strikes land and do not have the desired effect he would have to work harder than he has been accustomed to.
The first round had Diaz get cut by McGregor above his right eye, it is not something uncommon for Diaz as he and his brother have been known to cut above their eye’s and fight comfortably with the cuts. Between rounds both fighters looked winded, McGregor from throwing everything hard and Diaz for having less than two weeks of a training camp. The fatigue would be one of the reasons McGregor cited for his eventual loss to the rear-naked-choke in round two.
McGregor’s attempt at taking down Diaz would seal the fight for him as once they were there, Diaz was able to go for various chokes, choosing the classic finish and earning the win he said he was not surprised to get during the post-fight interview. Check out all the interview highlights below.