What’s Different about 202?
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Online bookmakers are foaming at the mouth as the fabled date of August 20th approaches. There isn’t a sports betting site on the planet that can contain their excitement as the rematch between McGregor and Diaz draws nearer. Life isn’t renowned with second opportunities but when you’re as big as star as McGregor it’s easy to get your way. At least outside of the octagon because the last time these two met it was Diaz who ended up getting it ‘his way’. Their first fight seemed to come out of the blue. McGregor was scheduled to move up one weight class to contend for the lightweight title. McGregor was and is the reigning UFC featherweight champion and was looking to add another belt to his name. He was scheduled to take on now ex-champ Rafael dos Anjos. Dos Anjos broke his foot during training less than two weeks away from the fight, forcing the UFC to come up with something. And that’s just what the UFC did by scheduling a match between Diaz and McGregor in the welterweight division. This in turn forced McGregor to go up two weight classes on a very short notice. This time around McGregor will have more than enough time to make the necessary preparations and online bookmakers are preparing for a different turnout.
Nate Diaz 2 ½ (+105) +110
While the sportsbooks have McGregor pegged as the slight favorite, the odds don’t favor the Irishman as much as they did last time. No doubt Diaz’s performance in their first bout led to this drop. McGregor started fast and was able to land strikes on Diaz, bloodying his face. However, Diaz proved more than capable of absorbing these blows. They might have bloodied his face but they weren’t wearing him down. In fact as the fight dragged on Diaz only got stronger and eventually started landing his own flurry of strikes. It was obvious McGregor was getting fatigued and a desperate takedown attempt resulted in his loss via submission.
There’s no question McGregor had the advantage in the early rounds, he just didn’t know what to do once Diaz ate his punches. McGregor owns the featherweight division and there isn’t anyone in that entire division that can handle a McGregor punch the way Diaz did. He may have been a bloody mess but Diaz made it seem easy. Perhaps it was the added weight or the panic that set in once he saw his punches weren’t wearing down Diaz but either way McGregor did not have the stamina to compete for more than two rounds. John Kavanagh, McGregor’s trainer, is busy convincing online bookmakers that this time will be a different story.
“There’s no comparing this training camp to any we have done previously,” Kavanagh stated for a pre-fight blog. “The preparation has been flawless…I’ve often spoken of how drastically Conor improves with each training camp, and while there’s certainly no denying that he gets better for every fight, this has undoubtedly been his biggest leap forward yet.”
While many fans are upset at seeing how quickly McGregor got his rematch there’s no denying that he was obsessed with it. In the end giving him the rematch is the right thing to do. The last bout was thrown together at the last minute. This time around both fighters will have ample time to prepare leaving absolutely no excuses.