Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
Records: Diaz (19-10), McGregor (19-3)
UFC odds: McGregor -120, Diaz -105
Prediction: McGregor by KO, TKO or disqualification at +130
McGregor was the featherweight champion and considered by many the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter alive when he took on Diaz at welterweight at UFC 196 in March. McGregor was a sizable betting favourite but lost by second-round rear-naked choke submission. Diaz took the fight on 11 days’ notice after McGregor’s original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, had to withdraw because of a broken foot. McGregor was looking to become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in multiple weight classes.
The non-title fight with Diaz was contested at 170 pounds because Diaz had so little time to make weight. Originally, McGregor was attempting to move to the 155-pound division to fight dos Anjos for the lightweight title. McGregor kept the featherweight title despite that loss but has since been stripped of it with Jose Aldo, whom McGregor beat for that crown, the interim champion. The loss to Diaz snapped a 15-fight winning streak for McGregor, who said he was perhaps unprepared for that big step up in weight class and against a bigger man. All three of McGregor’s losses have been by submission.
Best Conor McGregor Quotes of All Time
McGregor and Diaz were originally to fight again at UFC 200 last month in Las Vegas but McGregor said he didn’t want to interrupt his training to help promote the fight so UFC president Dana White took the bout off the schedule. This again is a non-title fight. Diaz is ranked as the No. 4 lightweight. But McGregor wanted this fight at 170 pounds again instead of at 155 (lightweight) to basically prove himself.
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixiera
Records: Johnson (21-5), Teixeira (25-4)
Division: Light heavyweight
UFC 202 Odds: Johnson -195, Teixeira +155
Prediction: Johnson by TKO
Johnson is the No. 1 contender in the light heavyweight division and Teixeira is No. 2. The winner will get a shot at light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The 32-year-old Johnson, an American, enters on a two-fight winning streak. He was last in the Octagon in January and beat Ryan Bader by first-round knockout (punches). A total of 15 of his 21 victories have been by KO or TKO. Johnson’s last loss was to Cormier at UFC 187 in May of last year.
Teixeira, a 36-year-old Brazilian, has won three fights in a row. He was last in the Octagon in April and took out former champion Rashad Evans by first-round knockout (punches). Exactly 15 of Teixeira’s wins also have come by KO or TKO. This 205-pound fight was supposed to take place on July 23 but was postponed when Johnson was forced to pull out because of a family matter.
Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone
Records: Story (19-8), Cerrone (30-7)
UFC 202 Odds: Cerrone -160, Story +125
Prediction: Cerrone by submission
Story, a 31-year-old American, is on a three-fight winning streak since a loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 171 in March 2014. Story last fought in May and beat Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision. The UFC ranks Story as the No. 9 welterweight.
Cerrone, a 33-year-old American, is ranked as the No. 14 welterweight and also No. 6 lightweight. He last fought in June, beating Patrick Cote by third-round TKO (punches). Most of Cerrone’s wins — 16 of them — are by submission and that’s why I like him here via that route.
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry
Records: Lim (13-5-1), Perry (6-0)
UFC 202 Odds: Lim -360, Perry +250
Prediction: Perry in an upset by TKO/KO
Lim, a 31-year-old from South Korea, enters off a loss to Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night 66 in May 2015 by second-round TKO (punches). Lim was originally to fight Sultan Aliev here, but he had to pull out with a wrist injury.
This will be the UFC debut for the 24-year-old Perry, an American. He last fought in May this year and beat David Mundell by second-round knockout in the Battleground organization. All six of Perry’s wins are by KO or TKO. Four of his fights ended in the first round.
Tim Means vs. Sabah Homasi
Records: Means (25-7-1), Homasi (11-5)
UFC 202 Odds: Means -420, Homasi +290
Prediction: Means by submission
Means, a 32-year-old American, last fought in December 2015 and beat John Howard by second-round knockout (punches). Means was set to fight Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 83 in February but was removed from that after receiving a potential USADA anti-doping policy violation. He served a six-month suspension. Then Means’ original opponent at UFC 202 was to be Sean Strickland, but he had to withdraw due to injury.
Homasi, a 27-year-old American, make his UFC debut. He fought on Aug. 5 and beat Jorge Patino in a Titan FC 40 bout. Homasi is an alum of The Ultimate Fighter 21 and obviously took this on short notice.
UFC 202 Prelims (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips
Chris Avila vs. Artem Lobov
Cortney Casey vs. Randa Markos
UFC 202 Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny
Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin
Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori