Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After upsets, UFC picking itself up off the canvas

Holly Holm is now the one who wants a rematch — with Miesha Tate, not Ronda Rousey.

Conor McGregor said he was so humbled following his loss to Nate Diaz that he was "heartbroken."

The events of UFC 196 in Las Vegas on Saturday were staggering, as will be the repercussions.

Driven by their competitive fire, both Holm and McGregor made decisions to accept their Saturday fights. In hindsight, the moves require a big fix. Instead of waiting for the massive purse of a fall rematch with Rousey while wearing her women's bantamweight belt, Holm, 34, opted to stay more active following her November triumph in Australia and pushed the UFC for a match against Tate.

She got it — and lost her belt.

UFC president Dana White said he texted Rousey, who was seen on social media watching the fight on her phone, and she texted, "Gonna have to get back to work."

While Holm (10-1) relied on her world-champion boxing skill to win three of the first four rounds, Tate took her down in the fifth, then impressively maintained a chokehold on Holm's neck while being flipped, flexing the rear naked choke to win by submission with 90 seconds remaining in the final round.

"I want to fight Miesha tomorrow," Holm said. "Everyone before this fight was saying, 'Why are you taking this fight? You should be going for the rematch.' You know what, I'm in it to fight. Tonight, I made some mistakes. I'll fix those mistakes and come back stronger."

Ireland's McGregor (19-3) could've chosen a lighter man or not accepted Diaz's hedging to fight at welterweight — 25 pounds above the popular featherweight champion's typical weight limit.

Diaz (20-11) submitted McGregor in the second round after rocking him with heavy punches earlier in the round.

And now there's some luster off the charismatic fighter who was becoming the UFC's most popular, reflected by the 14,898 who attended his non-title bout against a substitute opponent. He expressed continued interest in fighting at UFC 200 in July, likely back at 145 pounds.

"I took the fight. It didn't work," McGregor said. "(Diaz) can take a hell of a shot. It is what it is. I came up short. I took a chance; it didn't pay off. I'll get back."

McGregor immediately found incentive to move on, seeing a tweet posted from featherweight champion Jose Aldo relishing his rival's loss after McGregor knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds in December. "That's the sign of a loser," McGregor said.

"I know there's a lot of celebrating this in the featherweight division. ... I feel it is right to go back down and remind them of what I have achieved.

"Usually, I fight a man in my division, and they crumble with those shots. Nate took them very well. The weight allowed him to take those shots. With a little bit of an adjustment and a recognition that, with the bigger man, you have to be more efficient with my shots … I made some errors. Hats off to Nate. It was a battle of energy he got the better of."

White said the penciled-in script for what was to be with the expected McGregor and Holm victories has become seriously unsettled.

"I don't know. We'll see how this thing plays out," White said. "Sixteen years in this business, the one thing you don't do is plan out what will happen."

In addition to figuring out McGregor's next bout, White has to decide when a third Tate-Rousey fight — Rousey won the first two — would take place and when Holm would fight again, and against whom. White had hoped for a Rousey-Holm rematch in what he previously said would be the most lucrative UFC fight in history.

After Saturday, White honestly doesn't know many things.

— Los Angeles Times (TNS)

After upsets, UFC picking itself up off the canvas 03/06/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 6, 2016 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …