When lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of his next title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days ahead of the series, the UFC had options galore.
You see, just as the featherweight kingpin will tell you, any card headlined by the Dubliner will be a profitable bonanza. The promotion first offered the fight to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but neither answered the call.
Edgar had been coping with a groin injury that had prevented him from coaching for the several 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 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 more than prepared when contacted from the UFC. Dana White let the rumors to hang in the air for many hours before determining that the attention from fans was best to get a Diaz-McGregor showdown.
McGregor had informed the UFC he would fight anybody on the roster at any given weight. When Diaz’s camp indicated that getting down to 155 on short notice was too much, the UFC countered using a catchweight supply of 160 lbs. Diaz countered with 165.
When the UFC called’The Notorious,”’ he said let’s just take action at 170. Thus, tonight’s main event for UFC 196 at 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 odds are becoming more expensive with each passing day. As of Thursday afternoon, most spots had McGregor preferred 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 in -500 or higher. The best payout for Diaz overseas 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 all those gamblers wanting to shave off some of the’chalk’ yet back McGregor, the brace for him to win inside the distance does not offer much help (-278 in 5Dimes).
If you want to take McGregor’s advice he’ll dust Diaz in the opening round, that brace provides a +170 return. If you believe the pride of Ireland will make quick work of Diaz, similar to his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there’s a brace at 5Dimes the fight will not go 1:01 that supplies a lucrative +550 yield.
For McGregor to acquire by TKO/KO (in any form ), the cost is -275 (danger $275 to win $100). We should notice that Diaz hasn’t been completed at the first round in 28 professional bouts.
In fact, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has only been finished twice. He had been filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 at the second round, and the 209 product suffered his only livelihood 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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