UFC 202 Mcgregor vs. Diaz - Close Lines Suggest Prop Bets Could Provide The Best Value

Conor McGregor

Andreas Hale

Thursday, August 18, 2016 5:56 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 5:56 PM GMT

On August 20th, Conor McGregor will look to avenge his shocking 2nd round submission loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 202. Join expert capper for an in-depth analysis for the best picks.

Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor
It’s easily one of the most highly anticipated rematches in UFC history as the UFC’s golden boy, Conor McGregor, will be looking for revenge against Nate Diaz, who stepped in on short notice to defeat the UFC featherweight champion back in March. If you’re a betting man (and I’m sure you are if you’re reading this), there wasn’t a whole lot to take away from their first fight. Both were fighting out of their weight class. Diaz had little time to prepare while McGregor needed to shift strategies after his original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, went down with an injury. Although it is difficult to figure out how the rematch will play out, there are a few nuggets of evidence based on their March encounter and history in the cage that should lead to an educated wager. The line is too close to finding value in a straight bet but proposition bets might provide the reward you are looking for if you play it smart.

 

The Rematch
There are many, many factors to consider in the rematch. For one, the fight will remain at welterweight. However, both fighters will have a full training camp heading into the rematch. Contrary to what some may think, this benefits McGregor far more than it does Diaz. Although it was assumed that Diaz was at a significant disadvantage when he took the first fight on 10 days notice, the fact remains that Diaz was closer to his fighting weight and is known as a gym rat. He may not have been preparing for a particular opponent, but he was definitely prepared to fight.

As for McGregor, jumping up one weight class can be a challenge. But having to shift your camp and diet to accommodate a second weight class on short notice is almost an insurmountable task. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 considering that McGregor came into that fight at -470. But it was evident as the fight wore on that McGregor was in over his head. The combination of an opponent with an excellent chin, a gigantic ego, and a new weight class spelled out McGregor’s demise within six minutes.

But much of what took place in the first fight won’t have too much bearing in the rematch. There are two ways to see this fight and I’ll provide on potential outcomes that could help you with your wager.

If you were seeking a stoppage, I’d look for value in McGregor ending the fight in the first couple of rounds. Diaz has only been stopped twice in 29 fights (via submission to Hermes Franca and knocked out by Josh Thomson). If McGregor hopes to stop Diaz, it will have to be early as Diaz is a known as a relatively slow starter who gets stronger as the fight wears on. Once he tastes an opponent’s power, he makes a conscious decision regarding how he chooses to engage. Thomson happened to catch Diaz with a surprise head kick in the 2nd round of their 2013 fight and became the first person to stop Diaz with strikes. The likelihood of McGregor finishing Diaz is slim, but there may be an opportunity with McGregor’s accurate striking and becoming comfortable as a welterweight. Just don’t bank on it happening later in the fight. McGregor will be strong early and his conditioning will be in question after the third round. The added weight and lack of experience as a bigger fighter could lead to fatigue in the later rounds. If Diaz is still in the fight after three rounds, chances are he’ll make it to the end.

If you recall back to their March fight, McGregor dominated the first round. His pinpoint accuracy led to a battered Diaz heading back to his corner covered in his own blood. However, McGregor was completely winded and realized when it was too late that Diaz could take a punch. The second round submission was more a virtue of McGregor emptying his gas tank too soon than Diaz being the better fighter. McGregor should be able to pace himself for the first few rounds in the rematch. If you were leaning on the side of Diaz, I’d expect things to play out in a similar manner for at least two rounds before Diaz ramps up his attack. If McGregor is fighting at a measured pace and controls the distance, Diaz will have a difficult time sucking him into the clinch. However, should the Irishman not have total control over his conditioning, a similar outcome of Diaz taking over the fight in the middle rounds could play out here. Instead of the second round, the third and fourth rounds seem mighty tantalizing for a Diaz finish. We’re still not sure of what McGregor will have to offer on the ground, but there’s almost no doubt that Diaz will have the advantage if the fight hits the mat. But McGregor should be smart enough to control the spacing until he gets tired. That’s when Diaz will spring to action and look to finish his opponent again.

 

Final Analysis
McGregor is no fool and possesses one of the better cage IQs in all of MMA. His preparation for the rematch should be for the long haul despite his prediction of a 2nd round knockout. With his ego taking a mighty blow the first time around, McGregor should play this fight a lot safer. Meanwhile, Diaz figures to have tasted what McGregor has to offer and will be confident in the rematch. But he’s not a devastating finisher. Instead, he looks to take his opponent out of the game mentally and wear them down.

As the fight draws near, keep an eye on an early knockout by McGregor or a late submission for Diaz for the most valuable betting pick.

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