Despite being out of action for a year, Nate Diaz looked sharp tonight as he got the better of Michael Johnson by unanimous decision at UFC On FOX 17 after three rounds of exciting stand-up action.
Johnson goes to the body early. Low kick for Diaz and Johnson counters with a punch. Hard leg kick for Johnson. He lands another one to the lead leg.
Johnson to the head then the body with punches. Again to the body. Diaz checks a leg kick attempt. Body kick for Diaz.
Johnson with a couple of punches to the head, but almost coming up slightly short as he tries to get in and out of Diaz’s long, lanky arms.
Johnson continuing to pepper Diaz’s lead leg with kicks. Diaz working his jab nicely. Johnson to the body. Combo of punches lands for Diaz.
One-two lands clean for Diaz. He’s finding his range out there now. Diaz kicking the body and legs. He gets through with a right hand. Two right kicks in a row for him.
Diaz with a punch to the body. Johnson blasts a kick to the body. Diaz taking a lot of kicks to the leg in this opening round and that may well take a toll later in the fight.
Johnson misses with a couple of winging punches. Diaz gets the better of a striking exchange in close, then lands another punch and taunts Johnson.
Back to the leg kick for Johnson. Diaz lands one of his own. Johnson to the body with punches and then upstairs for a clean connection.
Another leg kick and then grazes with punches. Right hand to the body for Johnson. Diaz with a push kick. Diaz with a one-two and Johnson lands a counter.
Diaz lands the jab. One-tow for him. He’s pistoning out that jab and occasionaly following with a straight left behind it and it’s working for him.
left hook now for Diaz. Johnson with a right and a left hook too which lands nicely. Diaz crips with that jab again. Body kick for Johnson. Left and a right for Johnson. Another hard right scores for Johnson.
Johnson back briefly to the leg kicks, then goes back to boxing. Punch lands for Johnson and Diaz shakes it off. Again he connects and Diaz folds his arms mockingly. They are both throwing down here and each man lands.
Now it’s Diaz who lands big and again. He’s pointing and laughing at Johnson as he does so. He knows those shots hurt. However Johnson then blasts him with a left hand.
Great action her as they show a real willingness to box it up here and they are both getting their licks in. Diaz taunting Johnson again as he lands. Powerful blow. They are going to war here. They clinch in the final moments but are still landing strikes as they do so. Diaz again points at Johnson as if he’s got his number as they head back to their corner.
Diaz working the jab and Johnson tries to flurry. Left hand for Diaz and a counter from Johnson. Right gets through for Johnson then Diaz doubles up on the counter.
Leg kick and then upstairs with a punch from Johnson. Diaz puts up his defensive guard to block a combo from Johnson.
a strong left hand hits home hard for Johnson. Johnson’s head getting snapped back from straight punches from Diaz. Johnson looks to clinch, but it doesn’t last long.
Hard left hand from Johnson, accurate punches in response from Diaz, mixing things up with an elbow in there. Some clinical work at times from Diaz and his reach advantage is really paying off for him.
They exchange and Diaz slips to the mat – was just a s lip though and he gets back up. Left – right works for Diaz. Snaps the straight left to the face. Left hand for Johnson. Front kick and a punch from Diaz.
Johnson suddenly clocks Diaz with hard punches and then looks for a late takedown against the cage in the final 10 seconds. They roll to the mat as the final bell sounds and they look like they don’t want to stop. Diaz almost goes into a knee bar but doesn’t crank it and throws his hands up in celebration as Johnson tries to kick him off. A bit heated between the two at the end there, but they are separated and this exciting fight is headed to the scorecards.
Great fight there with both men leaving it all in the cage after checking each others chins on multiple occasions. In the end though it was a rejuvenated Diaz who’s crisp boxing ruled the roost on the night and he earns himself a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3).
In true Diaz fashion he then gets onto the mic and turns the air blue calling out Conor McGregor. FOX won’t be happy about all those swear words and so the interview is cut short! Great win for Diaz though.