TONIGHT/early tomorrow morning sees in the long awaited in-cage return of Conor McGregor, which is live on BT Sport for us here in the UK. Will Burns provides us with the best ways to make a profit from this bone-crushing card. Good luck if you are betting but please remember… Anything can happen in the cage!
Sunday 21st August 2016
UFC 202: MCGREGOR v DIAZ II
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
CONOR MCGREGOR (19-3) v NATE DIAZ (19-10)
Love or hate him, Conor McGregor is still putting bums in seats, eyes on televisions and gets fight fans talking and he returns to Vegas tomorrow morning in the highly anticipated rematch against Nate Diaz.
The first bout ended in Diaz tapping the Irishman in the second after conditioning proved to be a major factor for McGregor. Stepping up two weights on just two weeks notice was unheard of but McGregor took the challenge to save the UFC (and himself) a monster payday – in the cage it was a mistake, in the bank – it was not.
McGregor the first round in that fight and as we have seen time and time again, Diaz ate shots and his face was a mess but the Dubliner’s stamina left him in the second, Diaz rocked Conor with a nothing looking shot and subsequently tapped him out. McGregor will have intensely worked on his conditioning to make sure the fight does not end that early this time round.
Many factors in this fight that makes it a hard one to call but I feel it is too big not to write about.
- Training Camps – Unlike the last time, both men have had full training camps for this fight. Remember, Diaz took the last fight on just two weeks notice also and obviously looked a lot heavier than usual.
- Money – This fight is a win-win for Diaz. His last fight with McGregor made him the best money he has ever made, this one will top that and if he loses he will be set for another huge payday for the rubber match.
- Motivation – This favours Conor. That defeat back in March was McGregor’s first in the cage and his stock has fell a tiny bit after the ‘fake retirement’ and the childish bust-up with Dana White, with both parties to blame. This win will get the Featherweight champion back in the limelight, back in the good books and a chance to defend that title against Jose Aldo in a huge big money rematch.
You will see a different Conor McGregor this Sunday morning, while Nate Diaz never changes his gameplan for any fight. McGregor possesses excellent unorthodox striking, near perfect counter shots and he uses angles and his power so accurately. Although his feet are quick and great defensively, he needs to improve his head movement as Diaz did land a few shots in their first encounter. His ground game and defensive skills are under-rated but at not at Diaz’s level.
Conor McGregor will have assessed that first fight over and over and fully learnt from his mistakes. If McGregor can land clean flash shots, he will win. If McGregor can keep this off the ground, he will show far superior striking than Diaz and will win. If Conor stops the showboating and blowing his load early going for the quick win, he will have more chance to getting his hand raised by the end of the fight.
Like I said, this is tough to call but Conor McGregor will give anything and everything to win this fight which makes him my pick for the victory this weekend. And the loss does not mean that much to Diaz, a small dash to his pride perhaps, however I’m sure the thought of the seven figures he’ll receive for the third fight will suppress that.
ANTHONY JOHNSON (21-5) v GLOVER TEIXEIRA (25-4)
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson heads into this fight on the back of two solid wins against Jimi Manuwa and Ryan Bader, with the latter being an very impressive first round knockout and that’s how I see this one ending.
Johnson is a pure explosive powerhouse and I think a first round (8/5) or second round finish (9/2) is also worth looking at but for my selection I will cover ourselves by the TKO win at 4/5 with Bet365 and here’s why…
The winner of this will face Light-Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and the fact that both fighters are coming into this bout with respective winning streaks (Teixiera at three and Johnson at two) makes this look like it could be a close contest. Not in my opinion.
Teixeira is dangerous and when on the feet he can dictate the pace, his striking is predictable with an overhand right and a left hook but is a good wrestler and can get takedowns but against Johnson you can disregard this. Johnson is way faster, possesses more power, a more accurate striker, a better wrestler and I cannot see Teixeira getting him down to the mat. If he tries to, I see this is the obvious way of the fight ending.
Teixeira will get rocked early or taking some striking abuse, he will desperately look for a takedown which will end him up in more trouble and the referee will step in.
If you are looking to make a decent profit have a look below at our (less-risky) Banker treble!
Anthony Johnson to win (1.50)
Tim Means to win (1.22)
Hyun Gyun Lim to win (1.36)