UFC 196 was a highly anticipated event and it didn't disappoint. The highlight: two submission wins and two stunning upsets that have oddsmakers scratching their heads.
In the co-main event, Miesha Tate pulled off a shocking come-from-behind victory over Holly Holm, putting "The Preacher's Daughter" to sleep with a rear naked choke (RNC) in the fifth round to become the new Women's Bantamweight Champion.
The fight game truly is unpredictable, and it usually leaves us with plenty of lessons. Here are some we picked up from UFC 196:
Efficiency wins fights
Unlike McGregor's past opponents who tried to take his head off in the Octagon, Diaz went in there with his trademark high-volume punching, ensuring he didn't blow his gas tank. The Irishman, meanwhile, admits that he put too much energy into his punches.
"I feel I was simply inefficient with my energy," said McGregor in the post-fight press conference. "[Against] the bigger man, you must be a bit more efficient with your energy; you mustn't put everything in your shots."
Tate also knows a thing or two about efficiency. She showed a very calculated and patient approach against Holm and really picked her attacks very carefully. She didn't desperately chase Holm or get reckless. She kept her lungs and wits about her even in the latter rounds, which helped her steal the belt.
Jumping divisions isn't so easy
Moving up in weight is no joke. That's why former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, one of the smartest fighters in the game, never changed divisions. Though McGregor has the size, reach, and confidence to jump divisions, it's proving to be tougher than he had thought, and he’s learning that.
"Usually, when I fight a man in the division where I'm champion in, they crumble under those shots, but Nate took them very well," he said at the post-fight press conference. "I think the weight helped him take those shots well."
McGregor says he's still interested in fighting at lightweight (155 lbs.) or welterweight (170 lbs.), but the featherweight (145 lbs.) division is probably looking a lot friendlier to him right now.
It pays to be well rounded
In modern MMA, there's little room for a specialist (someone who's good at just one aspect of the sport), and you really need to have all your bases covered. Tate isn't the best grappler or the best striker; she's just a gritty jack-of-all-trades, and that enabled her to exploit Holm's weakness: her grappling.
Diaz, likewise, isn’t the best striker or grappler in MMA, but he's well rounded. His boxing allowed him to rock McGregor, and his grappling helped him get the finish. McGregor, on the other hand, was exposed for his lack of grappling prowess.
Note that Diaz got a $100,000 bonus and Tate got a $50,000 bonus after UFC 196, so yeah: It really does pay to be well rounded.
You can't let your guard down
There's no doubt that McGregor's striking is high-caliber; he had Diaz cut and bleeding just minutes into the fight. But you'd notice in the second round that McGregor began to drop his hands and drop his guard. And whether it was due to fatigue or complacency, it allowed Diaz to rain down jab-straight combos that buckled the knees of "The Notorious."
Even Holm admits to making a similar mistake. "I knew I was ahead on the scorecards, and maybe I got a little complacent there," she says at the post-event presser, referring to her fifth round against Tate. That lapse in judgment cost her the win and ultimately, her belt, serving as a reminder to never let your guard down.
Gab Pangalangan writes more MMA news and analyses for his website DojoDrifter.com.
Nick Oyzon is in the house!
Paging the local government
Also, Mark Hamill strikes back at spoilers