UFC 196 has changed its headline bout three times, but that doesn’t matter. There are still a handful of opportunities to cash in on some value-packed UFC 196 bouts. Thanks to this expert UFC betting odds analysis, you’re going to get my top two picks to bring home the bacon when UFC 196 gets underway on Saturday, March 5, live from Las Vegas.
Best Betting Picks for UFC 196: Diaz vs McGregor
UFC 196 Welterweight Bout
Nate Diaz +325
Conor McGregor -450
Analysis: McGregor is 19-2 in 21 career bouts, including his stunning first round featherweight title KO win over Jose Aldo at UFC 194 on December 12. McGregor has won an 15 straight fights coming into his battle against Nate Diaz. 17 of McGregor’s career victories have come by way of knockout, with one win coming via submission and one via decision. McGregor has also been on the wrong end of two submission losses in his career, though his last defeat came way back in 2010.
Nate Diaz is 18-10 in 28 career bouts with 11 of those wins coming by way of submission and four via knockout. The California native specializes in boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Fight analysis: Sure, Conor McGregor is the favorite and there’s a reason why he’s won 15 straight fights, but the fact of the matter is that Nate Diaz is one of the best conditioned MMA fighters around. I also don’t believe that Diaz will be suckered into an all-out brawl or emotional mistakes by the trash-talking McGregor. To be beaten, McGregor is going to actually have to beat Diaz. Diaz has won two of his last three bouts and is very experienced having fought veteran MMA stars like Ben Henderson, Rafael dos Anjos, Gray Maynard and Donald Cerrone.
Last but not least, I love Diaz’s height and weight edge. Conor McGregor has had to move up 25 pounds in weight classes for this bout and that could slow him down a bunch against a guy that has fought at welterweight for almost the entirety of his career.
At +325, I believe Nate Diaz is worth a wager, particularly for a veteran that could very well pull off the upset.
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate Bantamweight Title Fight
Holly Holm: If you’ve been living under a rock or something, Holly Holm (33-2-3) recently pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent sporting history by completely annihilating former UFC bantamweight champion Rhonda Rousey in their UFC 193 title bout on November 15 in Melbourne, Australia.
Holm dominated Rousey from the outset before finishing off the former champ with a vicious straight left and kick to the head that shocked the world. Now, Holm will look to do likewise against a talented fighter in Miesha Tate.
Holm is the first person to win world championships in both, boxing and mixed martial arts and has won all 10 of her MMA fights since transitioning to the sport in 2010 with seven wins coming by way of KO and three via decision. Holm is a world class boxer with outstanding striking g skills and has increasingly employed a series of improving kicking techniques.
Miesha Tate: Tate has compiled a fine, 17-5 record in 22 career MMA fights and enters into her title but against Holly Holm riding a four-fight winning streak in which all four wins came via decision.
Prior to her recent winning streak, Tate suffered consecutive losses, the second of which was a third round submission loss (armbar) against Rhonda Rousey at UFC 168 in December of 2013. The attractive-looking Tate holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has excellent wrestling skills that could come into play if she’s able to get Holly Holm on the ground.
Fight Prediction: If you don’t know, Miesha Tate is an excellent fighter with a stupendous set of skills that can challenge any female fighter on the planet, including Rhonda Rousey and Holly Holm.
Tate isn’t nearly as strong as Rousey and the former bantamweight champ was clearly no match for Holm’s smart game plan, superior boxing skills and vicious punching ability. Still, I’m expecting Tate to fight a smart bout and have a legitimate chance for the upset. If Tate can get inside of Holm’s reach and outstanding defense, then she could get in position for a submission. Ultimately however, I’m going with Holly Holm for the decision win, because she’s the champ and a loss here would completely ruin Dana White’s plans for Holm and Rousey to stage their rematch later this year.
The Pick: Holly Holm via Decision