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UFC 202 Expert Picks and Preview

UFC 202 Expert Picks and Preview

The main event of UFC 202 – Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2 – is too close to call, according to the odds. McGregor is a slight -130 favorite in the rematch despite getting submitted in their first meeting. With so little separating the two of them, let’s get some help from some MMA experts and see who they have winning the much-anticipated rematch.

And for more UFC 202 coverage, check out our complete main card preview and sleeper picks pieces.


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UFC 202 Experts Picks and Predictions

Bleacher Report

MATCHUP WINNER
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor McGregor via Unanimous Decision
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira Johnson via Round 2 TKO
Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story Story via Unanimous Decision
Tim Means vs. Sean Strickland* Means via Unanimous Decision
Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki Garbrandt via Unanimous Decision

*Sabah Homasi has stepped in as a short-notice injury replacement for Sean Strickland

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Bleacher Report featured columnist Steven Rondina has gone mostly chalk with his UFC 202 picks. He doesn’t see big favorites Cody Garbrandt (-550) and Tim Means (-450) finishing their opponents, but he still thinks those two will win quite comfortably.

The only fight where Rondina does see an upset occurring is in the Donald Cerrone-Rick Story bout. Rondina notes that Story – a +135 underdog against Cerrone – has looked good since returning from a lengthy layoff, winning his past three fights. He seems particularly confident in Story’s ability to beat “Cowboy” up in the clinch, and predicts a unanimous decision win.

Meanwhile, Rondina is backing Conor McGregor to win his rematch with Nate Diaz via unanimous decision. It should be noted, though, that of his 19 career wins, McGregor has just one via decision – in 2013 against Max Holloway. Rondina doesn’t really have too many predictions with how the fight will play out, but does predict chaos to break loose whatever the result.

Daily Mail

FIGHTER – WINNER FIGHTER – WINNER
Junior dos Santos – Nate Diaz Joe Duffy – Conor McGregor
Michael Bisping – Conor McGregor Derrick Lewis – Nate Diaz
Dan Hardy – Nate Diaz Eddie Alvarez – Nate Diaz
Alexander Gustafsson – Nate Diaz Tom Breese – Nate Diaz
Jose Aldo – Nate Diaz Gunnar Nelson – Conor McGregor
Brad Pickett – Conor McGregor Jan Blachowicz – Nate Diaz
Michael Chiesa – Nate Diaz Ross Pearson – Nate Diaz

The UK’s Daily Mail polled a host of UFC fighters for their predictions for the main event of UFC 202. But despite the odds being so tight between the two, the votes weren’t quite as close. Of the 14 fighters polled, only four backed McGregor to win. Fellow Irishman Joe Duffy and McGregor teammate Gunnar Nelson were two of those four.

Interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who admittedly has his biases after getting knocked out by McGregor last year, believes Diaz is bigger, stronger, and ultimately better than McGregor. Aldo notes that Diaz, who won despite taking the first fight on short notice, should be more prepared this time around with a full fight camp.

On the other side, UFC bantamweight Brad Pickett expects a different McGregor for the rematch. He believes that loss in the first fight has lit a fire from under the fiery Irishman, who will have a major point to prove. Duffy, concurs, and believes all the money McGregor spent on his training camp will pay dividends.

International Business Times

WINNER METHOD
Conor McGregor def. Nate Diaz 3rd Round TKO

Last but not least, Anthony Riccobono of the IBTimes is expecting a very closely-contested battle as the odds tend to indicate. As the first fight clearly showed when Diaz made McGregor tap, Riccobono notes that Diaz has a significant edge in terms of ground game and submission skills.

However, Riccobono gives the edge on the feet to McGregor. The Irishman was tagging Diaz pretty consistently in their first fight until he eventually tired out. Riccobono believes a fully focused McGregor will be very dangerous, and sees him handing Diaz a rare stoppage loss in the third round.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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