UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2
June 18 @ 4:19 am
Fight Week has commenced in Las Vegas, USA, as we approach one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches in UFC history. Featherweight champion Conor McGregor seeks redemption against Nate Diaz in a Welterweight main event at the newly built T-Mobile Arena, set to welcome twenty-thousand fans on Saturday, August 20.
The build up to Diaz vs. McGregor 2 has perhaps seen the discussion of more “what ifs” than any other bout we’ve seen. No opponent switches and no short notice calls, unlike their first encounter on March 5. Just two competitors on a level playingfield, each with first hand knowledge of what the other is capable of, plus the luxury of a complete and efficient training camp.
If Diaz was victorious in the first encounter, and with notable prowess as he sunk in a second round rear-naked-choke submission, then is victory in the rematch a certainty? McGregor may have had the advantage of a full training camp ahead of March 5, but the late switch from preparing for Rafael dos Anjos at 155lbs, to Diaz at 170lbs, presents and entirely new set of circumstances with Diaz bringing a physical approach and skill set far different from that of Dos Anjos. But the question remains: regardless of preparation, is the 145lb Featherweight champion capable of maintaining his gas tank as a 170lb Welterweight?
In contrast, Diaz himself stepped in to face the Irishman on just 10 day’s notice. The California native received the call while away in Mexico and has since revealed that he stepped in to the Octagon with no pre-fight training camp. Now with full notice and training preparation, could a prime Diaz be capable of an even more impactful performance?
The undercard of UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 is not without a stellar undercard with matches between top contenders taking place across several divisions. UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier revealed via Twitter that he expects to face the winner of no.2 ranked Anthony Johnson vs. no.3 ranked Glover Teixeira; a contest between two of the biggest hitters at 205lbs.
Also on the main card, perennial top contender Donald Cerrone faces Rick Story at Welterweight. With prominence as both a striking and submission artist, Cerrone has bounced back with a pair of ‘Performance of the Night’ victories. “Cowboy” made the successful switch to Welterweight following defeat to Lightweight champion Dos Anjos in late 2015. On a three-fight win streak, Rick Story is enjoy his first undefeated run since 2011. Having now lined up three consecutive wins, including decision victories over 170lb standouts Gunnar Nelson and Tarec Saffiedine, Story has left the rocky road that saw him achieve back-and-forth results from 2011-2014.
Undefeated Bantamweight Cody Garbrandt (9-0) takes on Takeyu Mizugaki in a bout that closes out the Preliminary card, and the UFC Fight Pass Prelims are topped by Neil Magny continuing his pursuit of a Welterweight title shot against Lorenz Larkin.
UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 full card
Welterweight: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
Welterweight: Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone
Welterweight: Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry
Welterweight: Tim Means vs. Sabah Homasi
Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Women’s Bantamweight: Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips
Featherweight: Artem Lobov vs. Chris Avila
Women’s Strawweight: Randa Markos vs. Cortney Casey
Preliminary Card on UFC Fight Pass
Welterweight: Neil Magny vs. Lorenz Larkin
Welterweight: Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin
Middleweight: Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori