Late Diaz stoppage is where the value lies in UFC 202 McGregor rematch

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The betting is certainly closer this time for the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202 compared to what it was for their initial Octagon showdown at UFC 196 back in March.

On that occasion, McGregor was the heavy favourite for victory at 2/9, with Diaz considered the clear outsider at 10/3.

Despite the Irishman going up two weight classes and his rangier and taller opponent being stopped once in 21 MMA bouts against fighters closer to his own stature, McGregor was still priced as short as 9/2 to triumph inside 60 seconds.

Obviously, it is common knowledge now that Diaz sprung what at least in a betting sense was a considerable upset, despite the fact he was the more rounded fighter with superior cardio and a more developed ground game.

It was significant that the bout ended with Diaz securing a rear naked chose submission after McGregor’s stamina tank appeared close to empty.

There should be lesser chance of a repeat scenario, with McGregor using social media to highlight how he has been working on boosting his cardio. Despite weighing in for this rematch at the same 168lb mark as the first fight, the 28-year-old Dubliner did look fitter.

Rather than 2/9, McGregor remains the odds-on favourite but this time at 10/13. Meanwhile, Diaz has been cut from 10/3 to 11/10.

This may not represent the same value as the previous clash, but is still the more attractive of the fight result options.

Diaz took the first bout at 11 days’ notice as a replacement for injured Rafael dos Anjos and the extra preparation for this return should only play to his strengths more.

He should be better conditioned and can be expected to have a fighting weight far greater than the 170lb that he tipped the scales at this time.

Meanwhile, Diaz’s three-inch height advantage and two-inch reach advantage should be able to keep McGregor pegged back again behind a jab, especially if the Irishman starts more tentatively as a way of conserving energy.

The battle potentially going five rounds only plays to Diaz’s strengths and the 31-year-old repeating his victory from the first fight, but later into the contest is where the betting value lies.

Diaz winning in the fifth round looks an incredibly big price at 30/1, with 18/1 on a fourth-round stoppage is also worthy of some attention.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.