McGregor seeks redemption as he collides with Diaz in UFC 202 rematch
Lee Gormley | August 18, 2016
Conor McGregor v Nate Diaz
- UFC welterweight fight
- Sunday, August 21st
- Scheduled for: 04:30 BST
- T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- Live on BT Sport 2
McGregor meets Diaz for UFC 202 rematch
Six months since suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor will get the chance to gain redemption as the pair prepare to collide once again in their highly-awaited UFC 202 rematch this weekend.
UFC featherweight champion McGregor (19-3) endured a second-round submission loss to Stockton’s Diaz (19-10) in March at 170lbs, but the Irishman was reluctant to alter any rules for their second encounter, with the rematch being another welterweight dust-up.
The Dubliner has undergone an overhaul in his training regime for this latest octagon outing, having been previously preparing for Rafael dos Anjos before the initial Diaz bout, in which he ultimately ran out of steam before being on the receiving end of a decisive rear-naked choke hold.
With a full training camp under his belt, specifically suited to dealing with the threat of Californian southpaw Diaz, McGregor will enter proceedings in the early hours of Sunday morning as the narrow favourite and is 11/8 with Coral to knock out his foe this time around.
Tensions raised at press conference
The first meeting between McGregor and Diaz was the biggest pay-per-view in the UFC’s history and, after the recent heated press conference between the pair, there’ll be no shortage of fans tuning in again this weekend.
After arriving to the presser late, McGregor was only in his chair for a few minutes before Diaz took off alongside his teammates in the crowd, with bottles and cans eventually being launched between parties in front of the media.
Following the crazy scenes, UFC president Dana White was forced to call a halt to questioning from those in attendance, as ‘the Notorious’ was shuffled off stage before any further altercations.
“Brand new, we’re absolutely brand new,” McGregor stated after being asked how he and his team were feeling. “It was handbags. If they want to fight, let’s fight. You can throw stuff from behind the thing, but if you want to fight, let’s fight.
“I just saw the bottles being thrown and I was [like], ‘right, f**k that. If you want to start throwing bottles, I’ll start throwing cans.’ But it was all in self-defence.”
The deadly Dubliner recently delved back into predicting his fight outcomes, having become know as ‘Mystic Mac’ in the past, and he outlined a second-round victory for himself, which can be backed at 11/2 to occur in Sin City.
McGregor looks to correct wrongs
Diaz prevailed in the first match-up with McGregor with just 10 days notice, standing in for the injured Dos Anjos earlier in the year, and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt showcased his elite grappling abilities when ultimately earning his 12th career submission win.
That tally is the second highest in UFC history and the 31-year-old is 5/2 to force McGregor into tapping out once again this time out, with all three of the featherweight champion’s losses having notably come via submission.
Despite that upset, McGregor is still highly confident he can correct his previous wrongs and, after a more specific and strict training period, he is 15/2 to gain a decision victory after five five-minute rounds.
“He’s a solid guy, he’s tough, durable,” the Irishman said of Diaz. “He’s not the most skilled. I mean, he’s experienced and durable. He’s got the weight, the height, the reach. So he has some attributes that I have to be aware of that I didn’t give respect to the last time.
“I didn’t think he would be that tough. I overthrew my shots. I underestimated my opponent’s durability. And that was it. That confidence is not shook. I still feel I am the better fighter. I was winning most of the contest. I feel he got lucky. Now I will address that and correct it.”
Diaz counting on history repeating itself
McGregor will enter the T-Mobile arena octagon this weekend hoping to avenge his previous loss, but Diaz is seeking a second successful outing and is confident that history will repeat itself.
“I think it’s a little silly, man,” declared Diaz, who is 11/4 to triumph by knockout. “You’ve got pictures of me up in his garage, with him punching me in the face. What the f**k? Who does that?
“That’s trying to make yourself believe something. That’s all. I just think he’s trying to hype his own self up, but when he goes to sleep at night, he remembers what happened the last time.”
It’s the fight that every MMA fan wanted to see after both McGregor and Diaz enjoyed full preparations this time around, and the two fighters will once again go toe-to-toe in what is sure to be an enthralling UFC 202 rematch.
How do you think Conor McGregor will get on in his Nate Diaz rematch? Have your say below in our comments section!