The organization’s featherweight champion will again take on Diaz at welterweight, this time as a -125 betting favorite (bet $125 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com compared to around -450 in the first meeting at UFC 196.
McGregor got off to a decent start against Diaz in their last meeting but slowed down considerably in the second round, when his opponent took advantage and submitted him via rear-naked choke.
All three of McGregor’s losses during his career have been by submission, and he had scored five consecutive knockout wins in his previous five bouts at 145 pounds.
The jump up to 170 was definitely hard for McGregor to handle with less than three months to prepare for Diaz, although now he has had more than five extra months for his body to get used to the change.
Meanwhile, Diaz usually fights at lightweight and only had to go up one weight division compared to two for McGregor (Conor McGregor Odds History). Diaz has a three-inch height advantage and two-inch edge in reach as well, making size a real factor.
While there is no title belt on the line here, it is an equally large bout for both fighters. McGregor’s legacy is at stake, and another loss to Diaz (Nate Diaz Odds History) could set him up for yet another defeat when he faces Jose Aldo again in a rematch for the featherweight championship.
Another victory for Diaz could lead to a lightweight title shot versus new champ Eddie Alvarez, who upset Rafael dos Anjos via first-round TKO a little more than a month ago.
The co-main event is a light heavyweight battle between two former top contenders in Anthony Johnson (21-5) and Glover Teixeira (25-4). The winner will likely take on undisputed champ Daniel Cormier next with Jon Jones out indefinitely.
Johnson is listed as a solid -200 favorite on the UFC 202 odds against Teixeira (+160), who lost to Jones by unanimous decision for the title at UFC 172 and then fell again to Phil Davis the same way at UFC 179 before reeling off an impressive three-fight winning streak.
Johnson was submitted by Cormier via rear-naked choke in the third round at UFC 187 for the light heavyweight championship and has since won two in a row by KO.