Death and taxes are still guaranteed but owning UFC belts and titles are not. Bantamweight contender Miesha Tate proved this with her surprise defeat of defending champ Holly Holm Saturday, as did brawler Nate Diaz in his defeat of motormouthed UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor.
Holly Holm's bout against Miesha Tate looked for a time as if it would surely go Holm's way. The down-to-earth champ—famous for unexpectedly cleaning Ronda Rousey's clock in UFC 193—held Tate off into the fifth round, fighting like a pro and landing solid blows while remaining unscathed. Then Tate took advantage of Holm's exposed neck and latched on—in her words as reported later by the Guardian—"like a pitbull on a bone."
To fight Diaz, McGregor packed on weight, topping out at 170. Welterweight Diaz still had a height and weight advantage on the champ and he used it. While McGregor connected on several occasions, in the end Diaz brought him down to earth with a rear choke hold that looked impossible to defend against.
In a post-fight quote reported in The Guardian, McGregor said he felt he'd handled Diaz in round 1. But, "I was inefficient with my energy," said McGregor. "I’m humble in victory or defeat. He was efficient. I wasn’t efficient."
With its signature fighters in disarray after high-profile defeats—Rousey in UFC 193, now Holm—and McGregor even using the word "humble" for any reason, the UFC looks like it could re-shape into something completely different.
Or, should Ronda Rousey return and defeat the powerful and imposing Tate, perhaps reset itself back where it belongs, with the Rowdy one on top.
h/t The Guardian