When lightweight winner Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of his second title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days ahead of the series, the UFC had options galore.
You see, in the same way the featherweight kingpin will tell you, any card headlined by the Dubliner is going to be a profitable bonanza. The promotion first offered the fight to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but answered the call.
Edgar was dealing with a groin injury that had prevented him from coaching for the many previous weeks, while Aldo’s trainer said he was not in good enough shape conditioning-wise to select the battle on this short notice.
Former 155-pound champ Anthony Pettis was just one fighter volunteering his services, linking the likes of Urijah Faber and Donald’Cowboy’ Cerrone. Even B.J. Penn wanted a shot McGregor.
Nate Diaz was also more than willing when contacted from the UFC. Dana White allowed the rumors in the air for several hours before deciding that the attention from fans was highest for a Diaz-McGregor showdown.
McGregor had informed the UFC he would fight anyone on the roster at any given weight. When Diaz’s camp indicated getting down to 155 on brief notice was too much, the UFC countered with a catchweight supply of 160 pounds. Diaz countered with 165.
Whenever the UFC known as’The Notorious,’ he said let’s just do it at 170. Therefore, tonight’s main event for UFC 196 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is a five-rounder contested at welterweight. McGregor, the 145-pound champ, is moving up two weight classes.
Advertisement Most books opened McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) at around -300, but the odds are becoming more expensive with every passing day. As of Thursday afternoon, most spots had McGregor favored from the -450 to -500 range. Diaz was around +380 about the comeback (risk $100 to win $380).
Now that we have arrived at fight day, most spots have McGregor at -500 or higher. The best payout for Diaz overseas is in 5Dimes, which has him +425.
The complete for’over/under’ wagers is 2.5 rounds (-200 to the’under,’ +165’over’). For all those gamblers wanting to shave some of the’chalk’ yet back McGregor, the prop for him to win within the space does not offer you much help (-278 at 5Dimes).
If you want to take McGregor’s advice he’ll dust Diaz in the opening round, that prop offers a +170 return. If you think the pride of Ireland will make quick work of Diaz, similar to his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there’s a brace at 5Dimes that the battle won’t go 1:01 that offers a lucrative +550 return.
For McGregor to win by TKO/KO (in any form ), the cost is -275 (risk $275 to win $100). We ought to note that Diaz hasn’t been finished in the first round in 28 professional spells.
In fact, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has just been finished twice. He had been filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 at the second round, and the 209 product endured his only livelihood TKO loss to Josh’The Punk’ Thomson in the second round of their April 2013 showdown. (Diaz’s corner threw in the towel)
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