UFC 196: Diaz vs. McGregor Preview and Picks
Looking for UFC 196 Picks? You’ve come to the right place! UFC 196 comes our way this weekend from Las Vegas – a card that was supposed to feature a juicy battle between lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor.
UFC 196: Diaz vs. McGregor
Date: March 5, 2016
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass
Unfortunately for fight fans dos Anjos was forced to the sidelines because of injury and Nate Diaz was called upon as a “viable” replacement. Although the McGregor/Diaz bout does have appeal, the battle of the mouths may just be the most exciting part of the contest.
That said there are some quality fights on the card – let’s take a look.
UFC 196 Main Card
Conor McGregor (19-2, 7-0 UFC): -375
Nate Diaz (19-10, 13-8 UFC): +285
Nate Diaz arrives on short notice to take on one of the most dangerous men in the UFC, Conor McGregor. The former has been on some sort of roll the last year or so – the only issue for him ahead of this fight is the fact that he will be stepping up two weight classes.
Diaz has some impressive striking credentials but his only chance is to use his world class jiu-jitsu – his height and reach advantage could also pose a problem. After all we know that McGregor can be dragged down to the mat.
But and that is a huge BUT, McGregor’s striking is on another level – his ability to counter will definitely serve him well. Diaz will have to weather the thunder in both of McGregor’s hands as well as his evolving kicks. McGregor will know what is coming and should be able to keep Diaz at bay.
It is hard to imagine Diaz weathering the inevitable storm that is coming his way.
Diaz is a tough kid but he is far from the elite caliber fighter that it will take to knock McGregor off of his pedestal in this one. Diaz is in for a rough night – McGregor is on top of his game physically and mentally –there is little chance for a guy that sits outside the top 5 in his own weight class will get it done here.
Simply put McGregor is elite – Diaz is not!
Diaz vs. McGregor UFC 196 Picks: Conor McGregor -375
Holly Holm (10-0, 3-0 UFC): -360 vs. Miesha Tate (17-5, 4-2 UFC): +270
Holly Holm makes her first Title defense on Saturday hoping to build on one of the most shocking wins in UFC history.
Her opponent? Miesha Tate who also gave Rhonda Rousey quite a battle. Saturday’s battle will is the consummate contrast of styles – Holm will look to keep the fight standing and to batter Tate around like she did the former champ while Tate will try to bring the fight into her comfort zone – the ground.
Tate will not have an iota of a chance if she can’t get this fight to the ground – don’t think that she is not acutely aware of this fact. Holm is the best boxer in women’s MMA hands down.
But huge questions surround her ability to survive on the mat – she’s hit the ground one time in her 10 fight career and is unfamiliar to say the least when there.
Look, Holm was impressive against Rousey but she lured the former champ into the fight that she wanted to wage – period. Outside of that win, Holm looked good, not great inside the Octagon. Tate was able to get Rousey down to the mat in their battle and I think she does again in this fight.
I am one of a few that thinks Holm is a tad overrated and being judged on just one fight.
Tate is a consummate pro and one of the best wrestlers in women’s MMA – a terrible matchup for Holm. I’m taking the value in this one.
UFC 196 Betting Pick: Miesha Tate +270
Gian Villante (14-6, 4-3): +155 vs. Ilir Latifi (12-4, 1NC, 4-2 UFC): -190
A Light Heavyweight battle between Gian Villante and Ilir Latifi will be the third to last fight on Saturday night’s card. Villante has won three of his last four fights and enters off a first round KO of Anthony Perosh in Australia.
Latifi arrives on the heels of a two fight win streak – the last coming just a couple of weeks ago.
Villante, a wrestler will be looking to bring his aggressive style and has to hope that the power of Latifi doesn’t end his night early. But Latifi’s knack for the knockout is too much to ignore in this one – Villante’s troubling trend of leaving himself open and wearing down quickly is too much of a concern here.
While I don’t love Latifi, I do think that he does get the victory here. It likely ends quickly and violently!
UFC 196 Betting Pick: Ilir Latifi -190
Corey Anderson (8-1, 4-1 UFC): -300 vs. Tom Lawlor (9-5, 6-4 UFC): +230
Two more Light Heavyweights do battle Saturday night when TUF 19 winner Corey Anderson takes on veteran Tom Lawlor who enters the Octagon for just the second time in 2 ½ years.
Anderson enters having won two fights in a row – over Jan Blachowicz and Fabio Maldonado while Lawler beat Gian Villante almost a year ago.
Anderson appears to be on a path toward a Title shot in a somewhat watered down Light Heavyweight division – he is very well rounded and has an almost unfair 79 inch reach. The only downside of Anderson’s game is his lack of finishes inside the Octagon.
Lawlor is an OK fighter for sure but has had a history of struggling against top competition – Anderson falls into that category of top competition. Simply put Anderson is too physical, too athletic and too motivated to be denied in this one.
Anderson is favorite for a reason – he is better in every aspect of MMA right now.
UFC 196 Betting Pick: Corey Anderson -300
Amanda Nunes (11-4, 4-1 UFC): -155 vs. Valentina Shevchenko (12-1, 1-0): +125
One of the most intriguing prospects in the women’s Bantamweight Division Valentina Shevchenko looks to take the next step toward a title shot when she takes on Amanda Nunes – a good striker with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Shevchenko is maybe the best striker in women’s MMA – she is a multiple Muay Thai World Champion with crazy speed and immense precision inside the Octagon.
Nunes is a nice fighter but Shevchenko looks as though she’s on a different level right now – her win against Sarah Kaufman on short notice opened my eyes. It’s going to be a fun night with the underdog proving her worth in the division.
MMA Betting Pick: Valentina Shevchenko +125
UFC 196 FS1 preliminary card
Siyar Bahadurzada (21-6-1, 1-2 UFC): +235 vs. Brandon Thatch (11-3, 2-2 UFC): -305
MMA Betting Pick: Brandon Thatch -305
Erick Silva (18-6, 1NC, 6-4 UFC): -210 vs. Nordine Taleb (10-3, 3-1 UFC): +105
MMA Betting Pick: Erick Silva -210
Marcelo Guimaraes (9-1-1, 2-1 UFC): +215 vs. Vitor Miranda (12-4, 2-1 UFC): -275
MMA Betting Pick: Vitor Miranda -275
Darren Elkins (20-5, 9-4 UFC): +120 vs. Chas Skelly (15-1, 4-1 UFC): -150
MMA Betting Pick: Darren Elkins +120
UFC 196 FightPass early preliminary card
Jim Miller (25-6, 14-6 1NC UFC): -145 vs. Diego Sanchez (27-8, 14-8 UFC): +115
MMA Betting Pick: Jim Miller -145
Jason Saggo (10-2, 1-1 UFC): -190 vs. Justin Salas (12-6, 3-3): +155
MMA Betting Pick: Jason Saggo -190
Julian Erosa (15-3, 1-0 UFC): -225 vs. Teruto Ishihara (8-2-2, 0-0-1 UFC): +175
MMA Betting Pick: Teruto Ishihara +175