Revenge will be the theme of the weekend, as Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz prepare to do battle for the second time, a mere 5 months after their first clash at UFC 196 - at which Diaz, who was a late replacement for the injured Jose Aldo, sprung what was just one in a string of huge UFC upsets, by submitting McGregor in round 2. It was a result that almost nobody saw coming outside of the Diaz camp, and was even more surprising given McGregor’s undefeated rampage throughout the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
McGregor was determined to have another crack at Diaz, choosing to challenge once again at 170 and to not defend his UFC Featherweight Championship at 145. He’s going to finally get his opportunity this weekend on August 20th, as the rematch we’ve all been waiting for headlines UFC 202 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
If you haven’t already managed to sit down and watch it, we’d definitely recommend taking a look at the UFC’s recent promotional video for the rematch - for our money it’s one of the most effective promo videos released by the UFC - and will definitely hype you up for Saturday’s showdown. It’s another punishing early morning start for fans over in the UK, but at least the Olympic Games should have prepared most of us for another night of little-to-no sleep.
Predictions from around the UFC
The two fighters have definitely had their say in the build up to this hotly anticipated rematch; McGregor has single handedly managed to rile up the entire WWE locker room, as well as ardent Trump supporters with a few provocative tweets - and the box office mega-draw is looking to lure in as many buys as possible to ensure that regardless of the outcome, he once again walks away with an absolutely monstrous fight purse.
Their peers are largely split when it comes to picking out a winner between the two; in one corner, Jose Aldo, fresh off a comfortable morale-boosting win against Frankie Edgar, is backing Diaz to once again knock off his nemesis - stating that he likes the chances of the Stockton, California native with a full camp behind him, over a refocused McGregor.
Backing McGregor are Gunnar Nelson and Michael Bisping, who are both confident that McGregor will be able to adapt his game plan to outthink and out-move Diaz, with McGregor’s incredible speed and explosive power being the deciding factor.
A quick look ahead to UFC 203: Miocic Vs. Overeem
Although UFC 202 is currently demanding the attention of the entire world of combat sports, another massive event is already looming in the distance. In the main event, current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Stipe ‘The Silencer’ Miocic will defend his title against Alistair Overeem, in what you can bet your house on will be an absolutely slobberknocker. Miocic defeated Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 to claim the belt, with a devastating counterpunch in round 1, and is primed to overcome the menacing Overeem to defend his title.
Elsewhere, Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks, who earned his initial fame as an independent wrestling superstar before signing with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment - has since moved on to the world of MMA - and is scheduled to debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203 on the 10th September. This is a bout that has already generated a huge amount of buzz as fans and critics of Punk alike are speculating about how the former king of the Squared Circle’ will perform in the Octagon. As an interesting aside, UFC 203 will take place in Chicago’s Quicken Loans Arena - the same venue in which Punk famously decided to walk out on WWE back in 2014 - effectively severing all ties with the company and professional wrestling as a whole.
We’ll bring you a more detailed look at UFC 203 closer to the event, for now, all of our attention is squarely on the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas for Diaz Vs McGregor 2.
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