There’s been a massive adjustment in the betting market ahead of Conor McGregror-Nate Diaz 2, the main event of UFC 202 in Las Vegas on Saturday, since Diaz submitted McGregor in their first fight in March. The morning before the rematch, MGM Grand is dealing McGregor as the -130 favorite, with Diaz getting +110 odds as the underdog.
McGregor was a nearly 6/1 favorite (-585) when these two met at UFC 196, with Diaz – who took the fight on just 10-days’ notice – the +280 dog.
The reasons for the huge price swing are obvious: Diaz (19-10) withstood some of McGregor’s best shots early in the first fight and won via submission in the second round; also, the rematch, like the first bout, is being contested at 170 pounds, a weight class far better suited for the much bigger Diaz (he is three inches taller and has a two-inch reach advantage over McGregor). 170, in fact, is a two-weight class jump from the featherweight division (145 lbs) of which McGregor (19-3) is champion.
Many of the UFC fighters canvassed by MMA Fighting envision the rematch playing out similarly to the March affair.
As if it’s needed against his hated rival, Diaz may have a little extra motivation Saturday. The press conference early this week devolved into a melee. McGregor showed up several minutes late and ended the presser by heaving water bottles and Monster cans at his opponent. One of those cans hit the 12-year-old sister of a member of Diaz’ team, Diaz’s training partner Chris Avila said.
Here’s video of the madness, followed by our pick for Saturday night’s fight and odds for the rest of the main event.
We’re going against the grain here to take of advantage of the value the betting line presents. McGregor, after all, was peppering Diaz pretty good before being submitted in the first fight, and with several months to prepare, we expect him to be ready to fight at 170 pounds (McGregor was supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos at 155 at UFC 196). The opportunity to back McGregor at a price this low is too good to pass up. McGregor -130.
UFC 202 odds, rest of main card (via CBS Sports)
Anthony Johnson, -200 Glover Teixeira, +170 (light heavyweight)
Donald Cerrone, -115 Rick Story, +135 (welterweight)
Hyun Gyu Lim, -265 Mike Perry, +225 (welterweight)
Tim Means, -400 Sabah Homasi, +330 (welterweight)