Conor McGregor wanted his rematch with Nate Diaz and now he’s got it. Who are you betting on in the UFC 202 main event?
“Bottles and cans, just clap your hands, just clap your hands. Where it’s at?”
Remember those catchy lyrics from Beck way back in 1996’s Odelay? No?
Well, after UFC 202’s press conference turned into a shower of water bottles and energy drink cans hurled between the Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz camps, you can’t help but wonder where it’s at with this Diaz vs. McGregor rematch.
To the mixed martial arts purist, Saturday’s main event might be a lot like a car accident on the highway of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but it’s a clash they won’t be able to keep their eyes off of either.
UFC 202 Fight Card Main Event
On one hand, this rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor – again at 170 pounds for no other reason than to replay the first fight that Diaz won – doesn’t really make much sense on paper. Well, outside of all the paper that it’s going to bring in for the UFC, Las Vegas, and sportsbooks around the globe.
And in the end, in a business where money speaks much louder than reason, this Diaz vs. McGregor main event at UFC 202 makes all the sense it needs to – whether MMA snobs like it or not. You may not have liked the idea of Diaz vs. McGregor 2 originally, but what do you think of it now that these two are dropping expletive bombs and mics all over Las Vegas?
Diaz vs. McGregor 2 Odds
If nothing else, at sportsbooks this matchup will be much different from the UFC 196 showdown that saw Diaz submit McGregor in the second round to cash in as a big underdog. McGregor went into the Octagon as a -400 favourite in UFC odds for that fight. This time around McGregor is set at -120, while Diaz is at -105.
But how much will change inside the Octagon? That’s the toughest question to answer.
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor Prediction
If you ask other UFC fighters, they’re backing Nate Diaz to win again almost across the board and given his weight and reach advantage as well as the benefit of a full fight camp, that’s not overly surprising. Diaz took every shot McGregor landed in the first meeting and there’s no reason to think won’t be able to eat those knocks and keep coming again on Saturday.
Still, don’t discount Conor McGregor’s maturation and motivation. He was having his way with Diaz at UFC 196 before he ran out of gas and should come into this contest with a much better game plan. McGregor has reportedly shelled out more than $300,000 on this fight camp and has payed special attention to strategy, cardio and mat work ahead of this match. From the outside looking in, McGregor seems to now realize he needs to prepare carefully for his fights.
This time, expect McGregor to stay within himself instead of looking for a knockout with every blow. This fight is winnable if he’s able to stay off the canvas and pick Diaz apart with his slippery striking. Watch for McGregor to use more kicks in this matchup, targeting Diaz’s front leg and body to slow his larger opponent down.
That could be the difference.
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor Rematch Bet
If you decide to take Diaz to win the rematch, nobody is going to think you’re crazy – UFC 202 main event odds could close with him being favoured. Diaz has the experience and pedigree to go the distance if needed, the ground game to submit his opponent at any time, and has only been knocked out once in his UFC career.
That said, critics may be selling McGregor short. Remember that Diaz is only 3-3 in his last six fights with losses to Benson Henderson, Josh Thompson, and Rafael dos Anjos on his record. If McGregor sticks with the game plan and doesn’t burn out too fast, he should have the endurance to take this fight into the fourth or fifth round.
Watch for McGregor to get up early on the scorecards and get the better of Diaz. The best value bet on our UFC 202 odds just be McGregor to win by decision at +665, but he might end the fight with a late KO/TKO (+135) in the fourth or fifth round.
If it ends any other way, just clap your hands, just clap your hands. Deep down, this is a fight we all wanted to see.