When lightweight winner Rafael dos Anjos pulled from his next title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days before the series, the UFC had choices galore.
You see, just as the featherweight kingpin will inform you, any card headlined by the Dubliner is going to be a profitable bonanza. The marketing first offered the struggle 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 months, while Aldo’s trainer said he wasn’t in good enough shape conditioning-wise to select the fight on such short notice.
Former 155-pound champ Anthony Pettis was one fighter volunteering his services, joining the likes of Urijah Faber and Donald’Cowboy’ Cerrone. Even B.J. Penn needed a shot at McGregor.
Nate Diaz was also more than willing when contacted by the UFC. Dana White allowed the rumors in the air for many hours before determining that the interest 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 suggested that getting down to 155 on brief note was too much, the UFC countered with a catchweight supply of 160 lbs. Diaz countered with 165.
When 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 shifting up two weight classes.
Advertisement Most books opened McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) at approximately -300, but the odds have become more expensive with each 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’ve arrived at fight day, most spots have McGregor in -500 or higher. The best payout for Diaz offshore is in 5Dimes, which includes him at +425.
The complete for’over/under’ wagers is 2.5 rounds (-200 to the’under,’ +165’over’). For those gamblers wanting to shave off some of those’chalk’ yet back McGregor, the prop for him to win within the space does not offer much help (-278 in 5Dimes).
If you want to take McGregor’s advice he’ll dust Diaz from the opening round, that prop offers a +170 return. If you believe 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 battle will not go 1:01 that supplies a lucrative +550 return.
For McGregor to win by TKO/KO (in any round), the price is -275 (danger $275 to win $100). We should note that Diaz has never been finished in the first round in 28 professional bouts.
In fact, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has just been completed twice. He was filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 at the second round, along with the 209 product suffered his sole 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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