Conor McGregor looks to continue his dominance in UFC on Saturday night in Las Vegas when he takes on Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 196. The fight highlights a pay-per-view card that includes Holly Holm’s first bantamweight title defense, in addition to three other fights.
It will be the first time in his UFC career that McGregor competes as a welterweight, while Diaz has fought as a welterweight four times, posting a 2-2 record. After beating Jose Aldo for the 145-pound featherweight title at UFC 194, McGregor was set to fight for the 155-pound lightweight title. But when Diaz replaced the injured Rafael dos Anjos on short notice, McGregor agreed to move up two weight classes instead of one.
McGregor has four straight wins by knockout, and he’s undefeated in UFC. Diaz has just one victory in the last two years, fighting twice since the start of 2014.
The PPV itself is slated to start at 10 p.m. ET, but McGregor won’t enter the octagon until much later in the night. McGregor’s last two fights came in the main event of a PPV, and while their is no set start time, they indicate that Saturday’s fight won’t get underway until at least 12:30 a.m. ET. When McGregor knocked out Aldo 13 seconds into their UFC 194 fight, the fight didn’t begin until a few minutes before 1 a.m. ET. The first round of McGregor’s UFC 189 fight with Chad Mendes in July started at 12:30 a.m. ET.
Tickets for the fight are being sold at a premium, and the PPV is expected to be one of the highest-selling in UFC history. Both of McGregor’s last two PPV’s reportedly generated more than one million PPV buys.
McGregor has quickly become UFC's biggest star, and he’s being paid accordingly, as fans continue to spend money and stay up into the morning to watch his fights.
"I'm going to breeze past the $10 million mark," McGregor told CNBC’s Jane Wells.
When Diaz told Wells that he would be well compensated for the fight, McGregor added, "He can thank me for that one. I've made more millionaires in this game than anybody else."
The betting odds vary at different sportsbooks, but McGregor is a heavy favorite no matter the slight differences. Bovada.lv gives him -400 odds to win, and Diaz is a +300 underdog.
Before dos Anjos broke his foot and was forced to withdraw from UFC 196, he was listed as a slight favorite over McGregor. McGregor was a slight underdog before his fight with Aldo in December.