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Daily Update: Final UFC 196 notes, PWG results & lineups, Rey Mysterio vs. Speedball

McGregor vs. Diaz and Holm vs. Tate

In just a few hours at UFC 196 (live coverage here), the MMA world gets a (hopeful) resolution to a grudge match that took just over a week to build when UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor takes on Nate Diaz in a welterweight fight. While McGregor going for his second UFC title was going to be a pretty amazing story in its own right, Diaz and McGregor is a pretty damn good secondary option giving the timing. 

While McGregor is a big favorite going into the fight (-400 to -450 as of publish time), there's been a lot of chatter since the weigh-ins that Diaz is in McGregor's head after "Mystic Mac" flinched when they got into it. Whatever happens: it's sure to be entertaining.

Don't forget that in the co-main event, you also get the first ever non-Ronda Rousey women's bantamweight title as champion Holly Holm looks to defend for the first time against Miesha Tate. Tate greatly benefited from the Rousey loss as she had been sitting on the shelf even though she has been beating the rest of the division herself after already losing both of her bouts to Rousey.

And, of course, our "Filthy" Tom Lawlor is on the PPV main card taking on past TUF winner Corey Anderson.

The full card, a look at PWG's big Saturday night, and tons more from the worlds of pro wrestling and MMA await below!


We're doing a poll this weekend for UFC 196, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.

UFC 196 ON SATURDAY FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS

Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. Eastern

  • Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara
  • Jason Saggo vs. Justin Salas
  • Jim Miller vs. Diego Sanchez

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern

  • Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly
  • Marcel Guimaraes vs Vitor Miranda
  • Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Brandon Thatch

PPV at 10 p.m.

  • Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
  • Tom Lawlor vs. Corey Anderson
  • Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi
  • Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate for bantamweight title
  • Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

We're looking for reports on WWE shows on Saturday in Saginaw, MI (Kane vs. Bray Wyatt) and Cedar Rapids, IA (Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose, Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio, Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch plus New Day, Usos and Dudleys and NXT in Bartow, FL. Send them into newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Sunday has WWE shows in Kalamazoo, MI (Kane vs. Bray Wyatt) and Moline, IL (Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose, Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio, Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch plus New Day, Usos and Dudleys. Send them into newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

PWG ALL STAR WEEKEND 12 NIGHT 2 | 8 P.M. FROM RESEDA, CA

  • Chuck Taylor vs. Marty Scurll
  • Mark Andrews vs. Evil Uno
  • Trevor Lee vs. Drew Galloway
  • Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. Chris Hero & ?
  • Adam Cole vs. Trent Baretta
  • Young Bucks vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly for tag titles
  • Roderick Strong vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for PWG tile

Raw will be live on Monday night from Chicago. The New Day vs. A.J. Styles & Chris Jericho for the tag titles is scheduled plus appearances by HHH, Shane McMahon and they are advertising Roman Reigns for the show.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Milwaukee.


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Figure Four Weekly 2/22/2016: All the latest on the Hulk Hogan Lawsuit
All the latest details on the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit.



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

SUBSCRIBERS READ IT HERE:  March 7, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: TNA seeking investors, UFC 196 preview, plus tons of news
A look at TNA's financial situation, a preview of UFC 196, a review of Ring of Honor's 14th Anniversary PPV, plus tons of news.

The status of TNA as they are looking for more funding is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.  The strange situation with no announcements of future shows, the next planned TV tapings, what talent has been told, ratings, previous sales talks, what happened to the TNA fan base and where they made the wrong moves, how badly the business fell the last U.K. tour.
 
The build and business of UFC 196, why so many tickets are suddenly available, what is unique about the event's promotion, Diaz vs. dos Anjos as a PPV, the value of the title, previous biggest PPV headlined by a non-title match, breaking down the McGregor vs. Diaz fight and where both would go next.

The build to WWE's Roadblock show, a look at the attempts to build Dean Ambrose, and the state of WWE main events after WrestleMania.
 
The salaries of the leading corporate officers in WWE, what Vince McMahon really makes in ways that aren't directly listed,  who owns what percentage of the company and where Shane McMahon stands corporately.  Shane McMahon's attempts to buy sports franchises, his training for the Undertaker match.
 
Full coverage of Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping, how the middleweight division was hurt financially by the result, judging, 
 
Full coverage of ROH 14th anniversary show and NJPW's plans for the U.S. market

A lengthy feature on the The Fabulous Freebirds, the latest inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, looking back at their heyday and the careers of Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts, Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and all the other Freebirds over the course of the years.  Why The Freebirds didn't make it in WWF, and what broke the original group up and more!  

PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW

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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: Jan 18, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Giant Baba retires, ECW Guilty as Charged review
Details on the retirement of Giant Baba, a full rundown of ECW Guilty as Charged, plus tons of news.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

The full UFC Unstoppable press conference with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones (who came out with his UFC title that he never lost in the ring) is up on the front page.

The biggest note is that Jones was over huge and Cormier got a lot of boos, and that seemed to rattle Cormier. Cormier said all he could figure about the reaction was that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  "Guys, I've been sober.  I haven't done all these things. I haven't wrecked my vehicle. I haven't been suspended. I didn't get stripped of my championship. I didn't do all those things. These are normal things that adult human beings do. You cheer this guy for saying he's not going to do these things anymore. I have done this my entire life, but you boo me. Thank you."

Jones then said he had no idea what Cormier said because he couldn't hear him over all the boos.  He also told him, "You are the biggest pussy I have ever seen, for sure."  After the press conference the two had a very tense staredown and Jones gave Cormier a DX-style CROTCH CHOP.

The other major note was Dana White claiming that Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha, who are coaching the next season of Ultimate Fighter, ended up getting into a full-blown, "head kicks" drag-out battle on the last day of filming after everything was being torn down.

White said it was nasty and that he had to pull them apart during the final staredown during filming (he also had to hold them apart at the press conference), but then there was a moment where he wasn't watching them and Joanna threw a water bottle at her from across the gym and it was on.  It started during the staredown when Joanna said something and Claudia responded, "Shut the f*ck up, bitch!  I'm so f*cking sick of listening to your mouth!"

Dana said, "The sad and scary part was very few people were left in the gym. The last day of The Ultimate Fighter is almost like the last day of school. Everybody is signing each other's stuff and all this other stuff."  Claudia at the press conference said that the bottle never hit her, but she sure hit Joanna.  Because everything was being torn down, the fight wasn't filmed and will not make air.

Both Emma and Charlotte were injured at WWE live events last night.  A look at both with exclusive details is here. On Twitter, the Divas Champion has already indicated that she plans to be back in action tonight.

UFC

  • Dave Meltzer has a big story on the ramifications of UFC 196 and how it all leads towards UFC 200.
  • Additionally announced at the UFC Unstoppable presser, UFC 199 is official for June 4th in Inglewood, CA, with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber, and middleweight champion Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman.
  • It will be interesting to see what they have left for UFC 200, particularly if Conor McGregor comes out of tonight's fight with Nate Diaz with any sort of injury. The Faber vs. Cruz fight is scheduled to go on last as the main event as of now.
  • Also announced was Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson for June 18th in Ottawa, ONT, Canada.
  • Our Josh Nason was quoted in an Associated Press story on the Winkeljohn/Jackson gym in New Mexico and the team’s approach to building a successful MMA team.
  • Subscribers can also listen to the latest Josh Nason’s Punch-Out with Las Vegas Sun writer Case Keefer previewing UFC 196.

WWE & Pro Wrestling

  • For whatever it's worth, the WWE Network is listing WWE Roadblock as being a three-hour Network-exclusive show.
  • Bubba the Love Sponge's Clem will be pleading the fifth when he is called as a witness in the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker trial. Being that the statute of limitations on him recording Hogan without his consent has long since expired, Gawker thinks that he committed perjury during his deposition. It was also ruled yesterday that Hogan’s lawyers can’t compare his case to the Erin Andrews lawsuit. Also yesterday, the six person jury was finally selected, with four women and two men (the two alternates will be two women and one man). The trial starts Monday.
  • Rey Mysterio makes his IWS debut tonight in Montreal at the Metropolis against Speedball Mike Bailey. Jack Evans and Konnan are also on the card that features a “fans bring the weapons” match.
  • There are interviews with Jim Ross here and here talking his new gig calling the action for New Japan on AXS TV. You can check out Steve Juon’s talk with JR for our site here.
  • At the ROH tapings last week, Brian Kendrick worked an Internet-exclusive match.  It's now online for free viewing.
  • Rock has a new video up as he prepares for this year's WrestleMania in whatever capacity that ends up being.
  • On Thursday, WWE won a default judgment against former Thai TV partner CTH Content Company for non-payment. Whether or not they’ll be able to enforce the judgment is probably a different matter.
  • Former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler makes her Premier Wrestling debut this Sunday at the IFDES Lodge in Gilroy, CA. Buy tickets online and save $5.
  • Heidi Lovelace talks intergender wrestling in preparation for an event happening Sunday.
  • Jerry Lynn did an appearance on the Neckbreaker podcast.
  • In the first of two shows at the Osaka Edion Arena #2, Dragon Gate's "CHAMPION GATE" weekend kicked off with a big title change as the hugely popular Yosuke Santa Maria won singles gold for the first time defeating Kotoka in what was reportedly a very heated match. Maria has been on a roll in 2016, wrestling in a far more serious manner and the title change got over huge. Naoki Tanizaki will be the first challenger.
  • In the main event the Open The Triangle Gate champions Akira Tozawa, Masato Yoshino and T-Hawk defeating The Sumo'z version of the Jimmyz - Sumo Fuji, Ryo “Sumo” Saito, Genki Horiguchi S.U.M.O!!. Tomorrow's show features the promotion's top title being defended as Open The Dream Gate champion Jimmy Susumu takes on former champ Shingo Takagi. These shows are not on iPPV but will be on a TV special later this month.
  • On this week’s 6:05 Superpodcast with David Bixenspan and Brian Last, Jim Cornette drops in for a cameo to talk about “Dream Machine” Troy Graham, Dave Prazak reminisces about NWA New Jersey’s invasion if IWA Mid-South in 1997 and the craziness that ensued, Brian is introduced to the wonders of Chris Von Erich singing, the buildup to the most offensive stipulation is wrestling history is scrutinized, and much more.

Other MMA:

  • In results from last night’s Titan FC 37 on UFC Fight Pass, Anderson Dos Santos submitted Ricky Simon in the 2nd round to win the bantamweight title, while Andre Harrison successfully defended the featherweight title with a split decision over Steven Siler. Former UFC fighter Tim Elliott scored a unanimous decision win to retain the flyweight title over Pedro Nobre while another former UFC fighter in Pat Healy got a unanimous decision over Mushin Corbbrey.
  • In RFA results from last night on AXS.tv, Chico Camus beat (no, not that) Matt Brown by unanimous decision.

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Hardy Boyz win WWF World Tag Team Titles