Earlier this year, Nate Diaz shocked the world by scoring a second-round submission over Conor McGregor, despite having had just 11 days to prepare for the fight. Last Saturday, in the main event of UFC 202, McGregor evened the score with Diaz stealing a majority decision in a tooth-and-nail war for the ages. That of course, brings the fighters to a 1-1 tie across 2 bouts. Given this split, it should come as no surprise that the world is already gearing up for a possible rubber match between the two superstars.
The fans want it because it’ll mark the culmination of a rivalry that, despite being less than a year old, is already one of the most exciting in MMA history. The UFC wants it because, like McGregor and Diaz’s first two bouts, a possible third scrap between the pair would surely go down as one of the most financially successful fights in MMA history. The fighters want it not only because they’re competitive athletes, but because they both raked in multiple millions for their most recent bout.
“All I know is it’s 1-1,” McGregor said of a possible trilogy bout in his post-fight Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. “Regroup, boy, and we’ll do it again, this time at 155 pounds. I came up to 170 [pounds], overcame my adversity, now you want this trilogy, it’s on my terms. Come back to 155 and we’ll do it.”
“I want number three,” Diaz said in his post-fight Octagon interview, echoing McGregor’s statement. “I gave him number two the second day, so I’m ready to go again, fuck yeah.”
So, while nothing is official at the moment, the ground work is already laid for McGregor vs. Diaz 3. And as is so often the case when massive fights of this kind become a possibility, the odds for this potential rubber match have already been released.
Given the decisiveness of Diaz’s win in the first bout, and the competitive nature of McGregor’s victory in the second, logic might suggest that Diaz would be the favorite in a possible third bout. Yet as far as the early odds are concerned, this is not the case. Just as he was in the first two bouts, McGregor has been pegged as the favorite for a potential third contest with Diaz.
These early odds came courtesy of BetOnline (via OddsShark), and identify McGregor as a -170 favorite, and Diaz as a +145 dog. This means that a successful bet of $170 on McGregor would earn you $100, while a successful $100 bet on Diaz would earn you $145.
While McGregor looked incredible in his Saturday night defeat of Diaz, Diaz’s efforts in this second fight, and incredible upset in the first fight mean that these early odds are sure to generate some controversy. Of course, it’s also worth noting that these odds are sure to experience plenty of movement in the buildup to this possible third fight, and that at the end of the day, they’re just numbers in a sport where unpredictability reigns.
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