Sunday, August 21 from 9am AEST at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. Watch on Pay Per View.
WHAT started out as a replacement fight for Conor McGregor all the way back in March in Las Vegas has now evolved into one of the biggest rivalries in UFC history.
Journeyman middleweight Nate Diaz became the first man in three years to defeat the Irishman McGregor in the main event of UFC 196, a fact that has all but consumed the featherweight champion since.
As good as the two men are in the octagon, they can go just as hard on the microphone.
Diaz and McGregor both have a penchant for being outspoken and brash, which lends itself greatly to the promotional side of their bout, but few would have expected what happened at the Thursday morning press conference for their UFC 202 main event bout.
McGregor turned up late to the conference, a move which incensed Diaz to the point that the veteran fighter stood up and walked out prior to its conclusion.
What followed though was utter chaos.
The two men exchanged verbal barbs before launching full bottles of water at each other in what can only be described as pandemonium; and the conference was cut short as a consequence.
Nate Diaz’s boxing coach Richard Perez said McGregor’s response of grabbing every bottle in sight and throwing them towards Diaz proved he is rattled heading into UFC 202.
“He didn’t know how to handle it. So he acted like a little kid and started throwing bottles, which he shouldn’t have, but Nathan got to him.” Perez said.
“McGregor, I guess he thinks he’s the king and can come in when he wants. Nathan was sitting just there talking, he didn’t care. And then when he came in, then he just said, you know what, it’s my turn to leave.”
If the fight is half as good as the press conference, we are in for a treat.
Conor McGregor is ‘lying to himself’ – Diaz
After months out of the spotlight, Conor McGregor was back to his brash, trash-talking best.
As he did prior to their first fight, the Irishman is predicting he will knockout Nate Diaz, but the American is not convinced McGregor believes his own words.
“That’s what he said last time,” Diaz said.
“I think he’s got a lot of people around him and he’s trying to pump himself up, and he’s either lying to himself or to the world about his confidence, trying to make himself believe it. But he remembers what happened in the last fight.”
At UFC 196 it was the rear naked choke heard round the world which launched Diaz into superstar status whilst breaking the invincibility aura that surrounded McGregor’s UFC existence up until that point.
Diaz stated that his confidence never wavered despite being giving no chance by most MMA pundits.
“I just think I beat him, and I thought I could beat him the whole time,” he said.
Another win against McGregor on Sunday would cement Diaz’s legacy as an all-time great of the UFC.
Who will win UFC 202 and why
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Winner: Nate Diaz – $2
Method of victory: Nate Diaz by submission – $3
In their first bout McGregor bossed Diaz, landing shot after shot on the American’s chin, but he was unable to land a killer blow, and when McGregor slipped; Diaz pounced.
For the first time in his UFC career McGregor was up against a man who had a significant size advantage, and Diaz’s superior physical attributes assisted him greatly in setting up the shocking win.
The power shots that rocked the featherweight division suddenly were not enough to knock Diaz out, and McGregor had no answers.
There is an air of hubris around this fight for Conor McGregor.
He specifically requested that the duo fight at the same weight as last time. He seems intent on proving Diaz was lucky the first time out and he has what it takes to win a rematch at the same weight class.
Unless McGregor has been working on an 18-week camp trying to achieve a Brazilian jujitsu black belt, it is hard to see what he can bring to the table to defeat Diaz this time around.
It is easy to forget too that Diaz did not have a full training camp heading into UFC 196, so we are expecting to see a far more conditioned, focused fighter coming into Sunday.
We fail to see how Diaz vs. McGregor II ends differently from the first incarnation.
Nate Diaz should get the better of the Irishman again in Las Vegas, and we are predicting him to do it via submission once again.
Other fights on the card:
Alberto Uda ($2.33) vs. Marvin Vettori ($1.60)
Colby Covington ($1.36) vs. Max Griffin ($3.14)
Neil Magny ($1.71) vs. Lorenz Larkin ($2.14)
Randa Markos ($1.71) vs. Cortney Casey ($2.14)
Artem Lobov ($1.87) vs. Chris Avila ($1.93)
Raquel Pennington ($1.41) vs. Elizabeth Phillips ($2.93)
Cody Garbrandt ($1.18) vs.Takeya Mizugaki ($4.90)
Tim Means ($1.22) vs. Sabah Homasi ($4.30)
Donald Cerrone ($1.62) vs. Rick Story ($2.30)
Hyun Gyu Lim ($1.36) vs. Mike Perry ($3.14)
Anthony Johnson ($1.48) vs. Glover Teixeira ($2.67)
Bookmaker promotions for UFC 202
McGregor vs. Diaz II is arguably the biggest rematch in UFC history, and the Australian online bookmakers have lifted their game to give punters the promotions they deserve heading into the massive card.
WilliamHill.com.au is offering a huge cash back special on selected fights this weekend.
Place a bet up to the value of $25 on any qualifying fight on the UFC 202 card and if your fighter loses within two rounds you get your cash back.
Qualifying fights include: McGregor v Diaz; Johnson v Teixeira; Story v Cerrone; Gyu Lim v Perry; Means v Homasi
Punters looking to take advantage of money back specials across the entire fight card need not look any further than Sportsbet.com.au.
Place a bet up to the value of $50 on any fight across UFC 202 and if your fighter loses in the first round you will get your cash back.
McGregor v Poirier betting tips & best bets | UFC257 24/1 Preview
Week on the Punt: McGregor stuns Cerrone in huge UFC return
Week on the Punt: McGregor returns to the octagon at UFC 246
Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone UFC 246 betting tips
What’s next for Conor McGregor?
UFC 229 Preview – Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
Big money on McGregor to down Mayweather in Vegas mega-fight
Mayweather to begin as big favourite in super fight vs. McGregor
Deprecated: WP_Query was called with an argument that is deprecated since version 3.1.0!
caller_get_postsis deprecated. Use
ignore_sticky_postsinstead. in /home/bettingsite/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5145