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UFC 202 could turn out to be the biggest card of the year due to the highly anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz headlining the event. When you factor in that Ronda Rousey’s return is unlikely for the remainder of 2016, it seems likely this will be a ratings boom that will eclipse all the cards for this calendar year.

With such a high profile fight, just about everybody has an opinion on how it will go, but the people we all want to hear from are the biggest names in the sport, the fighters. I put out a mass alert to a multitude of fighters and personalities in the community to get their take on how the rematch will go. Of the 24 predictions that were submitted, only ONE person picked McGregor to win.

Here are the results:

Professional FighterMcGregor/Diaz
Luke RockholdDiaz
Chael SonnenDiaz
Carlos ConditDiaz
Aljamain SterlingDiaz
Derrick LewisDiaz via Decision
Cody GarbrandtDiaz via TKO
Tim KennedyDiaz via Submission
Jorge MasvidalDiaz
Rick StoryDiaz via Submission
Scott HoltzmanDiaz via Submission
Felice HerrigDiaz
Oluwale BamgboseDiaz
Lauren MurphyDiaz
Matt BrownDiaz via TKO
Al IaquintaDiaz
Beneil DariushDiaz via KO
Jimmy SmithDiaz via Submission
James VickDiaz via Submission
James KrauseMcGregor via TKO
Kamaru UsmanDiaz via Unanimous Decision
Chris CamozziDiaz via Submission

  • KO = Knock Out
  • TKO = Technical Knock Out


About the Fighters

Derrick Lewis: Number 10 ranked UFC heavyweight contender

Cody Garbrandt: Number 8 ranked UFC bantamweight contender

Tim Kennedy: Number 12 ranked UFC middleweight contender

Jorge Masvidal: UFC welterweight standout

Felice Herrig: UFC strawweight standout

Rick Story: Number 9 ranked UFC welterweight contender

Matt Brown: Number 12 ranked UFC welterweight contender

Al Iaquinta: Number 13 ranked UFC lightweight contender

Beneil Dariush: Number 11 ranked UFC lightweight contender

Jimmy Smith: Bellator color commentator

James Vick: UFC lightweight standout

James Krause: UFC lightweight standout

Kamaru Usman: UFC welterweight standout

Chris Camozzi: UFC middleweight standout

Luke Rockhold: Former UFC middleweight champion, current Number 1 contender

Lauren Murphy: UFC women’s bantamweight standout

Chael Sonnen: Retired UFC middleweight star

Carlos Condit: Number 5 ranked UFC welterweight contender, former WEC welterweight champion

Aljamain Sterling: Number 6 ranked UFC bantamweight contender

Scott Holtzman: UFC lightweight standout

Oluwale Bamgbose: UFC middleweight standout

Ben Saunders: Former UFC welterweight standout


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Additional Fighter Quotes

Luke Rockhold:

“Thinking Diaz will wear him down in the later rounds. He’ll use his reach and pepper him up.”


Chael Sonnen:

“Diaz. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. This match just happened, in the same weight, with the sane guys, in the same amount of rounds, under the same rules. Expecting a different outcome would, by definition, be insane.”


Carlos Condit:

“I think that Conor McGregor has the skills to beat Nate Diaz. He was doing really well in the first fight, but how many times have we seen a guy go out and try to run through one of the Diaz brothers, get super tired, gas out and then get finished? It happens quite a bit. They’re really tough guys to fight.

If Conor fights smart, sticks to a gameplan and picks Nate apart, piece by piece, he can win. If he goes in there and fights like he did before, I think he’s going to lose again. I think I’m going to go with Nate again for the win.”


Aljamain Sterling:

“I’m leaning towards Diaz. I think he’s going to get in Conor’s face and make it an ugly fight, then take him down. I think Conor will show the adjustments he’s made, but this is a different Nate, who’s now in shape and always has the looming threat of those great Boston Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) skills.”


Thomas J. Toehold, Esquire: Cartoon fighter

“I think Conor plans on dragging the fight into the latter rounds and not being as aggressive as the first fight, but once Nate finds his rhythm, it’s only a matter of time before that size/length advantage starts to create major problems for McGregor. Nate wins again in the championship rounds by TKO or sub.”


Scott Holtzman:

“I think Diaz wins again via round 4 submission. Mac will be in better shape, but so will Diaz. The size difference is too much for Mac.”


Felice Herrig:

“I think Nate Diaz will win again, but I’m not sure how. Obviously, Conor will have a different gameplan going in, but I could actually see Nate knocking him out. That’s the thing with MMA, anything can happen. I think Nate will win. I know that’s would I would like to see, for sure.”


Oluwale Bamgbose:

“I believe Nate will win because he has a full training camp this time, he is the better grappler and the bigger, longer boxer. Not to mention, he took Conor’s best punches after having a rushed training camp. It’s simple math.”


Ben Saunders:

“I believe Conor learned from the last fight and will come in more experienced and with a better skillset, but so will Nate. I imagine he will have the money, the resources and a full camp to add to his already amazing skillset, so Nate should be much better, too. I think it is gonna be a great fight and I give it to Nate. The real intriguing factor is either one could finish the other.

Will Conor pace himself more, and feel he can’t get a quick KO against Nate? Is Nate’s BJJ gonna be on display in full force or has Conor improved his ground game in between fights with crazy motivation from the loss? Will the fact that Nate hurt Conor standing play a factor in Conor’s gameplan? Will one or both fighters fight strictly to win, or will performing for the audience in attendance and around the world become a priority, knowing they are the “Kings of the PPV World,” and truly embrace it in all its glory? So many questions, so many outcomes, so many ways a fight can start, change, and end. This is why it’s the greatest sport to ever exist.”


Lauren Murphy:

“I am pulling for Nate on this one. For one thing, my whole family is from Stockton and lives there, and I went to school there for a while, so I am almost always rooting for the Diaz brothers. Second, I think Diaz is going to win because of his toughness, range and size advantage. I don’t see McGregor really hurting Diaz, but I think Nate can really hurt McGregor.”


Adam Hunter: Comedian, actor

“Diaz”

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is crooklyn949) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.