Conor McGregor got revenge for an earlier defeat when he outscored arch enemy Nate Diaz in a thrilling rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday night. He won two judge’s verdict 48-47 while the third scored it a tie at 47-47.
The judges narrowly scored the fight for McGregor after a war of attrition which saw both men ship heavy punishment.
"It was not easy...It was a war," admitted McGregor,. "I got to show my heart in there. I took it to him and stayed in it and got the win so, I'm very happy.
Watch the fight the WORLD is talking about this morning #UFC202 https://t.co/6qNQUG2qA0— Irish Daily Mirror (@IrishMirror) August 21, 2016
"I dropped him multiple times and he keeps coming. His face was busted open but he kept coming forward. He's a hell of a competitor. The whole lot of it brought out the best in me, forced me to look at myself truly."
"This was a hell of an important fight for me," admitted McGregor, "Everyone from the media to the fighters wrote me off this one. They tried to say if I lose this one, I'm done. They said I was done and it certainly lit a fire under me. Every single person doubted me. Every single fighter doubted me. Doubt me now.”
McGregor had risen two weight classes to fight Diaz in March but was sensationally defeated.
Now with the score at one each, a final third fight to decide who is top dog is surely in the works.
.@TheNotoriousMMA left #UFC202 on crutches. Before he did, he hinted at a future outside of the Octagon to @anezbitthttps://t.co/Q7ERYQ37L8— AtTheBuzzer (@TheBuzzerOnFOX) August 21, 2016
McGregor was paid $3 million for the fight and earned every dime against an opponent he clearly despises. The pre fight press conference ended in a brawl between the two camps.
The fight itself started off well for McGregor who twice downed Diaz in the first but he deliberately failed to take the fight to the mat, remaining standing when Diaz went down.
Diaz had the better of the second round landing heavy blows towards the end.
Congratulations to @TheNotoriousMMA on tonight's win! What a fight it was! #UFC202 pic.twitter.com/JxMOzoZDlQ— T-Mobile Arena (@TMobileArena) August 21, 2016
Diaz also won the third, his best round, staggering McGregor on several occasions
McGregor fought back and had the best of the final two rounds to win a famous victory.
Next up for McGregor may be a defense of his featherweight crown before taking on Diaz again.
There will hardly be a seat left unsold in the house for that one.