UFC 202

Diaz x McGregor II

Picks, Parlays, and Predictions

Diaz Duels Dublin - Dos!

PICKS

McGregor x Diaz
Teixeira x Johnson
Cerrone x Story
Perry x Lim
Means x Homasi
Gambrandt x Mizugaki
Pennington x Phillips
Avila x Lobov
Markos x Casey
Larkin x Magny

PARLAYS

CHANGE YOUR BUM LIFE EDITION

Pennington (-260)
Gambrandt (-550)
Perry (+225)
Story (+135)
Teixeira (+160)
McGregor (-115)
$2.02 to win $124

I'M NOT SURPRISED EDITION

Larkin (+110)
Avila (-110)
Cerrone (-165)
Diaz (+100)
$2.09 to win $24.82

PREDICTIONS

Big Fights at Moneyweight

Nate Diaz x Conor McGregor II

Here we go go go again. The powers that be are trying to sell this fight like a big, dramatic rematch, crowded with emotion and contender status. In reality, it’s more of a mad dash towards a giant paycheck. Think bright lights and neon, not gloomy music and grey skies. This is a fun fight that borders on exhibition – Conor already has his belt at featherweight, Diaz is hovering in the top five at lightweight, and neither of these two have made much a career, if any, at welterweight. Yet here we are at 170 pounds, talking trash and making cash. This isn’t bad blood, it’s parasitic pugilism. It’s two of the best, in their respective divisions, testing each other and getting well-deserved attention in the process. I can’t wait.

Even though their first meeting only lasted two rounds, we were treated to plenty of action and got to see both men play to their strengths. What we have to remember is that their first encounter materialized in a matter of days. Conor was training for a completely different fight and Nate wasn’t even training. That’s an interesting tidbit because Conor, despite largely having a style of his own, clearly prepares differently for certain opponents and Nate Diaz, who has been historically hit-or-miss at a high level, is absolutely beastly when he shows up in shape. Nobody on this planet is immune to a Diaz one-two, and Conor found that out after absolutely decimating the younger Diaz brother for the better part of the first fight before getting rocked and choked out. 

This rematch was supposed to take place at UFC 200 and here we are just one month later. From the sound of it, ticket prices are absurd and since the Irish are financially recuperating and the world loves to kick a man when he’s down, McGregor is likely walking into enemy territory. Diaz has a clear advantage, especially at welterweight, but it’s hard for me to forget that first round. McGregor lit Diaz up before slowing down and getting steamrolled. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Nate can fight all day long and is nearly impossible to finish. Nearly impossible in the sense that banking on KOing or submitting a Diaz should never be the gameplan, which was clearly Mac’s initial strategy. I see Conor playing the long game here and staying sharp for 25 minutes. Sharp, as in he’s going to try to cut Nate’s battle-scarred face into ribbons to stifle his performance. I’m not a McGregor mark, but I think his preparation plays a key role. Diaz has all the tools to win, but, in my mind, Nate doesn’t deal well with pressure and it seems to affect him at the upper echelon. Conor has been training, hiding away and when it’s his time to shine he will revel in the spotlight. Plus, who doesn’t love a good rubber match.

Anthony Johnson x Glover Teixeira

Initially scheduled for July, this light heavyweight slobberknocker was pushed back just to make this event even more compelling. Both of these guys love to recklessly heave their limbs into other people’s faces and they happen to be two of the best at it. The winner has a date with Daniel Cormier for the belt and I have a feeling that’s what both fighters have their eye on. They should keep a look out for each other, though, because a solid connection from either guy will leave the other face down on the canvas.

I’m not prepared to anchor myself to a specific outcome. I think there are some very technical points to make, but I’m not the guy to make them. Especially not from the cozy confines of my couch. To keep this obnoxiously simple, Glover’s strengths are his power and his underrated offensive grappling while Anthony has ...power. Johnson may be the bigger fighter with a more varied striking style, but both men will be looking to do the same thing while the fight stays on the feet. The biggest weakness I predict coming into play is Johnson’s questionable cardio. He’s faded late in fights before and I don’t see why this would be any different. Glover will have his hands full for the first half, but he should be able to shift gears for all fifteen minutes. Either way, the viewer gets to have a good time. If Teixeira stays out of danger and can avoid a brawl, he’s got it. It’s hard not to pick the guy with more ways to win.