VIDEO: Edmonton Oilers' Evan Bouchard gets caught in the same MMA move Conor McGregor once tapped out to in rare Stanley Cup moment

Aaron Ekblad apparently utilized a rear-naked chokehold against Evan Bouchard (left) akin to Nate Diaz
Aaron Ekblad utilized a rear-naked chokehold against Evan Bouchard (left) akin to Nate Diaz's choke against Conor McGregor (right). [Images courtesy: @Sportsnet on X and Getty Images]

Evan Bouchard seemingly found himself in a position similar to Conor McGregor previously did. Bouchard, a well-known ice hockey defenceman who plays for the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL (National Hockey League), was involved in a tussle with Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers in which Ekblad caught him with a submission maneuver.

The Edmonton Oilers and the Florida Panthers played in the Stanley Cup Final - Game 2. The match took place at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, USA, on June 10, 2024. The Florida Panthers won the game by a 4-1 margin, extending their lead to 2-0 in the seven-game series.

The rough and tumble sport of ice hockey is known to witness its fair share of fights, including a few grappling and striking exchanges. The 24-year-old Bouchard was on the receiving end of a submission hold, a rear-naked choke, at the hands of fellow Canadian hockey player Ekblad.

The 28-year-old Ekblad, a staple of the Florida Panthers, caught him in the rear-naked chokehold during an altercation. Bouchard ultimately tapped out to it.

Watch Evan Bouchard tap out to the chokehold below:

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Watch the choke from an alternate angle below:

The sequence was reminiscent of Nate Diaz's iconic rear-naked choke submission win over Conor McGregor. Diaz secured the tap with a rear-naked choke in round two to hand 'The Notorious' his first UFC defeat at UFC 196 (March 2016). McGregor avenged the loss by beating Diaz via majority decision in an immediate rematch at UFC 202 (Aug. 2016).

Apart from the fact that both took place in different sports, the key difference between McGregor and Bouchard's predicaments was that the Irishman was submitted in a prone position on the mat, whereas Bouchard tapped to a standing rear-naked choke.

Besides, ice hockey isn't a combat sport, so a submission-induced tap won't win the game for one's team. On the other hand, making your opponent tap wins you the MMA bout.

Watch McGregor's rear-naked choke loss against Diaz below:


What's next for Evan Bouchard and Conor McGregor?

Evan Bouchard has, time and again, proven his mettle on the ice hockey rink. Although his team currently finds itself down 0-2 in the series against the Florida Panthers, he indicated that they're confident heading into Game 3, which takes place on Thursday, June 13, 2024.

Speaking to the media after Game 2, the Edmonton Oilers star suggested that the Panthers had the home-turf edge in Florida. He acknowledged their work but asserted that the Oilers would turn things around. Bouchard stated:

"They got home ice advantage. They did their job. We gotta go home and do our job next two games."

Check out Bouchard's comments below (0:45):

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As for combat sports megastar Conor McGregor, he's been on hiatus from professional MMA competition since suffering a leg injury in July 2021. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion is expected to make his long-awaited comeback this year.

McGregor will face UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler in a welterweight bout. The McGregor-Chandler showdown will headline the UFC 303 event, which will transpire on June 29, 2024. Furthermore, earlier this year, 'The Notorious' expressed interest in a potential trilogy fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 306 in September.

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