When lightweight winner Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of his next title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days ahead of the show, the UFC had choices galore.
You see, just as the featherweight kingpin will inform you, any card headlined by the Dubliner will be a money-making bonanza. The marketing first offered the fight to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but answered the call.
Edgar had been coping with a groin injury that had prevented him from training for the several months, while Aldo’s trainer said he was not in good enough shape conditioning-wise to select the battle on such 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 needed a shot at McGregor.
Nate Diaz was also more than prepared when contacted from the UFC. Dana White allowed the rumors to hang in the air for several hours before deciding that the interest from fans was best to get a Diaz-McGregor showdown.
McGregor had told the UFC he’d fight anybody on the roster at any given weight. When Diaz’s camp suggested getting down to 155 on short notice was too much, the UFC countered using 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 will be a five-rounder contested at welterweight. McGregor, the 145-pound champ, is moving up two weight classes.
Ad Most books opened McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) at around -300, but the chances have become 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 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $380).
Now that we’ve arrived at fight day, most places have McGregor at -500 or greater. The best payout for Diaz offshore is in 5Dimes, which has him at +425.
The complete for’over/under’ wagers is 2.5 rounds (-200 to the’under,’ +165’over’). For all those gamblers wanting to shave off some of the’chalk’ yet still back McGregor, the brace for him to win within the space doesn’t offer much help (-278 at 5Dimes).
If you would like to take McGregor’s information that he’ll dust Diaz from the opening round, that brace provides a +170 yield. If you think the pride of Ireland will make quick work of Diaz, much like his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there is a prop at 5Dimes the fight won’t go 1:01 that offers a lucrative +550 yield.
For McGregor to win by TKO/KO (in any form ), the price is -275 (risk $275 to win $100). We should note that Diaz has never been completed in the first round in 28 professional bouts.
In reality, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has only been finished twice. He had been filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 in the second round, and the 209 product suffered his only career TKO loss to Josh’The Punk’ Thomson in the second round of the April 2013 showdown. (Diaz’s corner threw in the towel.)
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