When lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled from his next title defense against Connor McGregor 12 days before the show, the UFC had choices galore.
You see, in the same way the featherweight kingpin will tell you, any card headlined by the Dubliner will be a profitable bonanza. The marketing first offered the fight to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but neither answered the telephone.
Edgar had been coping with a groin injury that had prevented him from training for the many months, while Aldo’s trainer said he was not 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 McGregor.
Nate Diaz was more than willing when contacted from the UFC. Dana White let the rumors to hang in the air for several hours before deciding that the interest from fans was highest for a Diaz-McGregor showdown.
McGregor had told the UFC he’d fight anybody on the roster at any given weight. When Diaz’s camp suggested getting down to 155 on brief notice was too much, the UFC countered with a catchweight supply of 160 lbs. 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 in 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 places had McGregor preferred 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 greater. The best payout for Diaz overseas is at 5Dimes, which has him +425.
The complete 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 prop for him to triumph within the distance does not offer you much help (-278 in 5Dimes).
If you want to take McGregor’s advice that he’ll dust Diaz in the opening round, that prop offers a +170 return. If you think the pride of Ireland will make rapid work of Diaz, much like his 13-second demolition of Aldo, there’s a prop at 5Dimes the fight won’t go 1:01 that offers a lucrative +550 return.
For McGregor to acquire by TKO/KO (in any round), the price is -275 (danger $275 to win $100). We should notice that Diaz has never been finished at the first round in 28 professional spells.
In fact, Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) has just been finished twice. He had been filed by Hermes Franca at WEC 24 in the second round, along with the 209 product endured his sole career TKO loss to Josh’The Punk’ Thomson at the next round of the April 2013 showdown. (Diaz’s corner threw in the towel.)
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