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 tell you, any card headlined by the Dubliner will be a money-making bonanza. The marketing first offered the struggle to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but 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 coach said he wasn’t in good enough shape conditioning-wise to take the battle 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 wanted a shot at McGregor.
Nate Diaz was more than willing when contacted by the UFC. Dana White let the rumors in the air for many hours before determining that the attention from fans was highest for a Diaz-McGregor showdown.
McGregor had informed the UFC he’d fight anyone on the roster at any given weight. When Diaz’s camp indicated that getting down to 155 on short note was too much, the UFC countered using a catchweight offer of 160 pounds. Diaz countered with 165.
Whenever the UFC known as’The Notorious,”’ he said let’s just do it 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 approximately -300, but the odds have become more expensive with each passing day. As of Thursday afternoon, most spots had McGregor preferred from the -450 to -500 range. Diaz was approximately +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 overseas is in 5Dimes, which includes him +425.
The total for’over/under’ wagers is 2.5 rounds (-200 to the’under,’ +165′over’). For those gamblers wanting to shave some of those’chalk’ yet back McGregor, the brace for him to win within the distance doesn’t offer much help (-278 at 5Dimes).
If you would like to take McGregor’s advice he’ll dust Diaz from the opening round, that prop offers a +170 yield. If you think the pride of Ireland will make quick work of Diaz, similar to his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there is a prop at 5Dimes that the fight won’t go 1:01 that offers a lucrative +550 yield.
For McGregor to win by TKO/KO (in any form ), the cost is -275 (danger $275 to win $100). We should note that Diaz has never been completed at the first round in 28 professional spells.
In reality, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has only been completed twice. He was filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 in the next round, along with the 209 product suffered his sole 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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