Sunday 6th March. 1AM. BT Sport 1
After weeks of anticipation, UFC 196 is finally here. And it should be an absolute classic as the charismatic Conor McGregor headlines at the MGM Grand against Nate Diaz.
UFC London certainly warmed us up for this weekend’s event and, while the headline event isn’t quite as mouth-watering as the originally planned McGregor V Rafael dos Anjos, it should be a fascinating night from the fight capital of the world.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big night.
McGregor To Show He’s The Main Man
The current Welterweight champion isn’t just a hero for UK fans, he is fast becoming the biggest star on the UFC roster. Most fans will expect the Dubliner to make it 16 wins on the spin, and he’s more than capable of handling the pressure.
Being involved in what would’ve been only the second ever bout between champions from different weight classes would’ve been huge, but McGregor simply has to forget about Dos Anjos and concentrate on the task at hand. If he does that, then it could be another quick night for the man that won his last fight in just 13 second.
That explosive KO of Jose Aldo was just the latest in five straight wins via punches. Those fast fists will be the Irishman’s biggest asset against Diaz. However, the late replacement will be eager to take full advantage of this opportunity. If he can put those Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills to good use, then an upset could yet be on the cards.
Whatever happens, you can always expect a frantic fight when McGregor is involved. Don’t expect it to go the distance.
Holly Holm Back In Action
UFC 196 includes an interesting preliminary card, but the real action starts with the undercard. Those match-ups include two Women’s Bantamweight fights, including the hotly anticipated return of Holly Holm.
The 34-year-old kickboxing star thrust herself into the spotlight by ending Ronda Rousey’s perfect record with that devastating knockout at UFC 193. That title victory saw the female side of the sport reach a new level of popularity, and fans will hope to see Holm retain her title against the tenacious Meisha Tate, who enters the contest on the back of four straight wins.
Tate is likeable, but fans are already thinking about a potential rematch between Holm and Rousey. Meanwhile, the undercard also starts with a Women’s Bantamweight bout as Amanda Nunes looks to start 2016 with a win over Valentina Shevchenko.
Meanwhile, the Light Heavyweight bouts of Corey Anderson V Tom Lawlor and Gian Villante V Ilir Lafiti should provide plenty of entertainment during the build up to the main attractions of Holm and McGregor.
There’s always drama when the UFC hits Vegas, expect to see plenty more fireworks.
UFC 196 Betting Tips
All eyes will be on Irishman McGregor, and he will be fully expected to win at odds of 1/5 with Bet365. However, Diaz shouldn’t be ruled out completely at 19/5. After all, it’s important to remember that anything can happen in this sport.
Nevertheless, the omens are very good for McGregor. Not only do we expect him to win, but we expect him to win fast.
McGregor’s last five bouts have ended in under two rounds and his explosive fists could be too much for Diaz. The underdog is stepping up from Lightweight, which is well worth noting too. The power of the Irishman could be too much for the Californian, and we’re predicting the fight to end early.
If you’re going to sit through the undercard, you might as well make it interesting with a bet. The action should be exciting enough anyway, but it’s always more entertaining when money is involved.
We’ve put together the following treble. With a little luck, we’ll be in profit before the headline even starts. Nevertheless, we’d suggest saving your main stake for McGregor.