UFC 196 took place last night (Saturday, March 5, 2016) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was headlined by a welterweight bout between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. Overall from a betting perspective, four favorites won while nine underdogs came through according to the closing odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Here’s a quick recap for each fight. Favorites That Won In a light heavyweight contest, Ilir Latifi showcased his speed and power against Gian Villante, blitzing the American with combinations and tossing the bigger, longer fighter around the Octagon like a rag doll in the final two rounds. Villante worked some heavy kicks, but it simply wasn’t enough as he had no answer for Latifi’s speed and aggression en route to a decision victory for the Swede. Latifi held serve as a +175 (Bet $175 to win $100) favorite while Villante stumbled as a +165 (bet $100 to win $165) underdog. In an ugly light heavyweight fight, Corey Anderson survived an early scare against Tom Lawlor to win a controversial decision. Anderson was the significantly longer fighter and eventually settled into his range, but not before nearly being knocked out in the first minute of the fight. Surprisingly, two judges awarded Anderson 30-27 scorecards, meaning they gave him the first round despite being hurt badly. Anderson won as a -240 betting favorite while Lawlor was +220. In the middleweight division, Vitor Miranda weathered Marcelo Guimaraes’ repeated clinch and takedown attempts, eventually battering his Brazilian counterpart with elbows along the fence before unloading with a huge combination which forced the referee to put a halt to the action. Miranda held serve as a -290 favorite while Guimaraes was +260. In a lightweight contest, Jason Saggo utilized his tremendous ground game to put away Justin Salas. Saggo swept Salas with an omaplata, then punished him with ground and pound, eventually finishing Salas with strikes from back mount at the end of the first round. Saggo was victorious as a -185 favorite while Salas was +170. Underdogs That Won In the main event of the evening, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor moved up two weight classes to battle Nate Diaz. McGregor was the aggressor early, landing huge left hands which cut Diaz open badly, but Diaz responded in the second round with crisp jabs. Eventually, McGregor started to gas and Diaz began connecting more consistently, even wobbling the champ before the fight went to the canvas where Diaz quickly advanced to full mount and tapped McGregor out with a rear naked choke. Diaz was a +355 underdog while McGregor was -400. In the co-main event, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm seemed on her way to defending her title successfully against Miesha Tate, but Tate would not be denied. Likely down three rounds to one, Tate scored a takedown with two minutes remaining in the fifth round, aggressively attacking Holm’s back and cinching in a rear naked choke to put the champion out cold. Miesha Tate is your new UFC champion and she pulled it off as a +260 dog while Holm lost her belt as a -290 favorite. In the opening bout of the main card, Amanda Nunes outworked Valentina Shevchenko in the opening two rounds to take the first decision victory of her career. Nunes was the aggressor early on the feet and did major damage in a dominant second round from top position, but she faded in the third, allowing Shevchenko to score big, but the Russian couldn’t do enough to overcome her slow start. Nunes was victorious as a slight +100 underdog while Shevchenko lost as a -110 betting favorite. In the preliminary card headliner, Siyar Bahadurzada came back from over two years away from fighting to pick up a huge upset win over Brandon Thatch. Bahadurzada held his own in the striking, but it was surprisingly his wrestling and ground game which allowed him to win the second round and then to finish the fight via arm triangle in the third. Bahaduzada pulled out the victory despite being a huge +290 dog while Thatch lost his third straight, this time as a -320 favorite. In a welterweight battle, Nordine Taleb answered his critics by not only picking up the upset victory over dangerous Brazilian Erick Silva, but by knocking Silva out cold. Silva disrespected Taleb early with a fake glove tap attack, but paid for it after eating a huge hook in the second round, which sent him face first to the floor for the knockout defeat. Taleb picked up the biggest win of his career as a +195 underdog while Silva lost again as a +215 favorite. In a featherweight bout, Darren Elkins did what Darren Elkins does best against Chas Skelly, grinding the fight away with takedown attempts to wear his opponent down. It worked, as Skelly offered little off his back after the opening frame and had no answer for Elkins’ aggression and high pace. Elkins was victorious at +160 while Skelly was defeated at -170. In the Fight Pass headliner, Diego Sanchez bounced back by returning to form against veteran Jim Miller. Sanchez worked for takedowns early and often, helping him win the first round before Miller bounced back in the stand-up to tie things up. Sanchez controlled the third round as Miller’s conditioning betrayed him once again, allowing “The Nightmare” to win a unanimous decision victory. Sanchez was a +165 underdog while Miller closed as the -175 favorite. In a featherweight fight, Teruto Ishihara put on a striking display against Julian Erosa. Ishihara did serious damage to Erosa’s leg in the first round, then clocked him with a heavy left hook which dropped him. Ishihara followed him to the canvas and finished him with follow-up strikes. Ishihara was a +160 underdog while Erosa was -170.
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