• UFC 196: Click here for all the latest news and more
  • Conor McGregor fights Nate Diaz at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday
  • Main card starts at 3am (GMT) and will be shown live on BT Sport 2
  • Holly Holm defends her bantamweight title against Miesha Tate 
  • McGregor is undefeated in the UFC while Diaz has lost three of last five
  • The Irishman is a heavy favourite to win the fight as short as 1/6 

Rory Brigstock-barron For Mailonline

Conor McGregor makes his much-anticipated return to the UFC Octagon against late stand in Nate Diaz on Saturday night as he goes up 25lbs from featherweight (145lbs) to welterweight (170lbs).

The Irishman, now arguably the UFC’s biggest star, faces the next intriguing test in his enthralling career as he pursues his eighth victory in a row since joining mixed martial arts’ premier promotion in 2013.

Join Rory Brigstock-Barron on this live blog with updates from Martin Domin in Las Vegas as all the action from UFC 196 unfolds.

Conor McGregor (left) squared off with Nate Diaz (right) at the weigh ins inside the MGM Grand on Friday

Conor McGregor (left) squared off with Nate Diaz (right) at the weigh ins inside the MGM Grand on Friday

  • Rory Brigstock-Barron

    Host commentator

Conor always looks calm before his fights but this might be another level. The Irishman looks so relaxed as he stretches off as if it was just another day in the gym.

‘The Notorious’ continues his pre-fight preparations in the back as we close in on the main event.

The left hand is wrapped and ready, long before the right.

One judge had it 30-27 which seems a little ridiculous after that first round but Anderson picks up the win and keeps rising in the light-heavyweight division.

Anderson got tagged by the more experienced Lawlor and it was nearly a very early night for the 205lb prospect. He looks to have recovered now but would do well to keep his hands up.

One of the big questions of the night is why GSP is here. Maybe he just fancied a night at the fights.

Or maybe he’s going to announce his comeback. At UFC 200. Against Conor McGregor.

We can dream…

The Brazilian makes picks up her fifth UFC win and moves one step closer to the title.

Nunes faded in the final round and even looked in trouble on the ground but surely Nunes won the first two?

We’ll find out now.

One Direction’s Niall Horan is Octagon-side, this must be a big fight.

Amanda Nunes looked almost certain to lock in a submission then as she took the back of Shevchenko but the Kyrgyzstani kept her chin down and toughed it out, ending the round on top.

Amanda Nunes has Shevchenko down now and is brutalising her with elbows from half guard.

Blood is starting to pour from the bridge of her nose.

The 31-year-old is going into his 21st UFC fight and it looked like another day at the office as he arrived for what is arguably the biggest fight of his career.

Diaz did fight for the lightweight title in 2012, but now he’s fighting for the McGregor-weight belt…

This is arguably the most exciting fight on the card barring the main and co-main event.

Amanda Nunes has looked incredible in recent fights and people were talking about her as the most likely to challenge Rousey before Holm jumped the line.

Shevchenko though is as decorated as they come in kickboxing and beat a tough opponent in Sarah Kaufman in her first UFC fight… on nine days notice!

Great way to start the card.

The MGM is far from full as we get ready to kick off the main card with Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko in the women’s bantamweight division.

With the winner of tonight’s co-main event set for rematch with Ronda Rousey later this year, Nunes and Shevchenko will hope a victory till put them in the title mix.

Also in the house tonight is Gordon Ramsay who was very well received by the crowd. He is expected to be joined by, among others, Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio and former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

I bet the celebrity chef is just as intrigued as the rest of us to see what Conor McGregor looks like on steak…

Bradon Thatch, having been taken down at will throughout the fight, is caught in a head and arm choke by Siyar Bahadurzada.

Once again Thatch is stopped as he falls to his third straight UFC defeat.

Nordine Taleb just knocked out Erick Silva with a beautiful right hand. Taleb caught a kick before uncoiling a straight right right between the Brazilian’s eyes.

Rafael dos Anjos’s master trainer Rafael Cordeiro was in Silva’s corner for the fight but it wasn’t to be for the welterweight as Tristar fighter Taleb gets the second-round stoppage.

Taleb finishes Silva on the ground after landing a textbook right hand

The Scottish celebrity chef loves swearing almost as much as Nate Diaz… But he’s supporting McGregor tonight.

We’ve already seen some great finishes so far tonight, and that was a brutal turnaround from Vitor Miranda to score his third straight UFC knockout.

The Brazilian was being pushed up against the cage by Guimaraes but began blasting him with elbows to break free before cliping him with a headkick and forcing the referee to step in as he peppered his opponent with punches.

To his credit Guimaraes stayed on his feet but the stoppage was the right call.

Diego Sanchez won the battle of the lightweight veterans against Jim Miller in the highlight of the undercard fights so far.

The Ultimate Fighter season 1 winner took the Miller down to seal the first round but finished the second with the slick submission artist on his back making the third round effectively a decider.

Sanchez edged the third, finishing in typical ‘nightmare’ fashion as he bit down on his mouth piece and traded punches with reckless abandon. The Jackson-Wink fighter won 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Fights so far:

Darren Elkins bt Chas Skelly by UD

Diego Sanchez bt Jim Miller by UD

Jason Saggo bt Justin Salas by TKO

Teruto Ishihara bt Julian Erosa by KO

Diego Sanchez celebrates after his victory over Jim Miller

Well, not quite, we’re about four hours from Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon, but UFC 196 kicked off two hours ago with the early preliminary fights.

As if Conor McGregor’s fight with Nate Diaz wasn’t reason enough to stay up tonight there’s also the small matter of Holly Holm’s first title defence since dethroning Ronda Rousey in emphatic style in November as she faces Miesha Tate.

I’ll be keeping you up to date with all the build up from the MGM Grand and we’ll have updates from Sportsmail’s Martin Domin who is poised at Octagon side for what looks set to be one of the most exciting UFC events of the year.

We’re already well into the preliminary fights at the MGM Grand





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