When lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled from his next title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days ahead of the show, the UFC had options 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 neither answered the call.
Edgar had been dealing with a groin injury that had prevented him from coaching for the many 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 also more than prepared when contacted by the UFC. Dana White allowed the rumors in the air for several hours before deciding 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 brief notice was too much, the UFC countered with a catchweight offer of 160 pounds. Diaz countered with 165.
When the UFC called’The Notorious,’ he said let’s just do it at 170. Therefore, 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 shifting up two weight classes.
Advertisement Most novels opened McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) at approximately -300, but the chances have become more expensive with each passing day. As of Thursday afternoon, most spots had McGregor favored in the -450 to -500 range. Diaz was approximately +380 about the comeback (risk $100 to win $380).
Now that we have arrived at combat day, most places have McGregor at -500 or greater. The very best payout for Diaz offshore is in 5Dimes, which has him +425.
The total for’over/under’ wagers is 2.5 rounds (-200 to the’under,’ +165’over’). For all those gamblers wanting to shave off some of those’chalk’ yet back McGregor, the brace for him to triumph inside the space does not offer much help (-278 at 5Dimes).
If you want to take McGregor’s information he’ll dust Diaz in the opening round, that brace provides a +170 yield. If you believe the pride of Ireland will make quick work of Diaz, similar to his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there’s a prop at 5Dimes that the battle will not go 1:01 that supplies a lucrative +550 return.
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 in the first round in 28 professional spells.
In fact, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has just been finished twice. He had been submitted by Hermes Franca in WEC 24 at the next round, along with the 209 product suffered his only livelihood TKO loss to Josh’The Punk’ Thomson at the second round of the April 2013 showdown. (Diaz’s corner threw in the towel.)
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