UFC 196: McGregor vs Dos Anjos…I Mean Diaz

Posted by Aaron . on March 1, 2016 in

Conor McGregor was priming for a bout with lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, hoping to become the very first world champion in two different weight classes, but then dos Anjos had to withdraw from their fight. Dos Anjos fractured a foot while he was training, but McGregor is more than a little bit skeptical. This is a little understandable, given that McGregor has had eight scheduled UFC bouts, and four of them have featured last-minute opponent changes because of an injury. As he said in his press conference after learning about dos Anjos’ withdrawal, “They all have sore v****s lately, it’s crazy. Dos Anjos broke his foot and his v***** in the same damn day. Same with Edgar. I couldn’t believe the UFC betting odds on that to happen. If there’s belts on the line, I’ll rack the belts up, but I”m racking checks up. Checks outweigh the belt.

UFC 196: McGregor vs Dos Anjos…I Mean Diaz

MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
TV: Pay-per-view
Radio: None
Live Stream: UFC TV Fight Pass
UFC Odds: McGregor (-420)

 

 

Even though McGregor was excited about picking up a second title within UFC, he also said he may not commit to another fight with dos Anjos after the events of this week. He doesn’t really believe that dos Anjos is hurt as badly as he claimed to be, and so he is not sure that another fight would be worth his time when it comes to training. He said, “When you pull out with an injury like that, a bruise on the foot, there’s not much I can do to bring you back into the mix. It does change things a bit.”

So in steps Nate Diaz to take on Conor McGregor instead, making his welterweight debut. This means that The Notorious One is fighting 25 pounds above his current belt, but he is still the favorite. Let’s take a look at this bout.

Why should you put your money on McGregor?

Of the two men in this octagon, McGregor has considerably more skill. He is #3 in the pound-for-pound rankings in UFC, right after Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson. He is undefeated since he joined the UFC in 2013 (7-0). Four of those fights have ended in the first round, and two in the second round. Only one has made it all the way to the cards. He has won his last three fights by knockout. His moves are aggressive and extremely precise.

McGregor has also been training for a long time to fight dos Anjos, so he is more than ready. He has been through a full-fight camp, but Diaz has not. He is in good condition, but he has not had the same preparation. McGregor also won’t have to cut weight right before the bout while he normally does. So he might be a little slower, but he’ll be just as fast.

Why should you bet on Diaz?

People thought that Ronda Rousey was inevitable against Holly Holm, and you can see how that turned out. Diaz isn’t a tomato can, by any means, and McGregor will be fighting 15 pounds above where he is normally used to fighting. Mentally, McGregor was preparing for dos Anjos (and a title shot), and now there isn’t a belt in play. This drop-off in motivation could serve Diaz well.

Expert Pick

I wouldn’t want to be in the same octagon with McGregor for this fight, given how focused he is likely to be. I’m picking him to win, and win quickly.