UFC 196: McGregor vs Diaz- ‘Rear-Naked Choked’

I wrote this...

In the aftermath of UFC 196, there is a lot to discuss regarding the future of Conor McGregor, the Featherweight title, Nate Diaz, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Ronda Rouse, and UFC 200. I also review my predictions for the entire event and breakdown the results of my premium Bet pack.




Parlay Header

Parlay #1
Selection 1: Holly Holm -284 
Selection 2: Ilir Latifi -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Vitor Miranda -270 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Jim Miller -132 
Price:+402 Bet: 10 units 
Payout: 40.17 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Corey Anderson -280 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Jason Saggo -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Valentina Shevchenko +109 
Selection 4: Darren Elkins +143 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +962 x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 76.95 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Teruto Ishihara +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Vitor Miranda/Marcelo Guimaraes Total Rounds Under 2.5 -105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Erick Silva/Nordine Taleb Total Rounds Under 1.5 +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Ilir Latifi/Gian Villante Total Rounds Under 1.5 -110 
Price: +2523 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 151.4 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Valentina Shevchenko +109 
Selection 2: Jason Saggo/Justin Salas Total Rounds Under 2.5 +115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz Total Rounds Over 2.5 +175 
Selection 4: Holly Holm/Miesha Tate Total Rounds Under 2.5 +175 
Price: +3298 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 197.89 units


Draftkings Line up

Lineup #1
Fighter 1: Ilir Latifi $10200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Valentina Shevchenko $9500 
Fighter 3: Erick Silva $10300 
Fighter 4: Vitor Miranda $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Darren Elkins $9300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Lineup #2
Fighter 1: Ilir Latifi $10200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Erick Silva $10300 
Fighter 3: Jim Miller $10000 
Fighter 4: Jason Saggo $10400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Teruto Ishihara $8900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining: 



Conor McGregor -380 vs Nate Diaz +395 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

McGregor is a massive favourite considering he is moving up a division or the first time at this level of competition. Yes,  I know he is actually moving up 2 divisions, but considering Nate normally fights at 155 I don’t feel the climb is as significant as if he was fight a Rory McDonald or Robbie Lawler. Clearly we can’t bet on him at this price. Nate will present some new issues that McGregor has yet to have to deal with, but at the same time I’m not sold on Diaz based on the MJ fight alone. Johnson’s lack of cardio, questionable chin, and sub defense were all factors that played directly into Nate’s strengths. Unless the add mass that McGregor has put on inhibits hit movement and cardio, I see him winning this fight. Still No Play is the way to go here.


No Fantasy Play here either. Most will be looking to incorporate Conor into their team which makes his points relatively useless if 75% or more of your opponents are using him. Additionally, at $11000 he is pretty expensive considering he is taking on a fighter who is traditionally tough to finish. Unique points is the plan!

Holly Holm -284 vs Miesha Tate +270 

Holly has a little more value and the number is climbing. I would suspect that there will be some extra cash going down on Tate because of “Vegas Dave” and his $77 000 bet on ‘Cupcake’. Big bets on Holm over Rousey and the KC Royals to win the World Series (amongst others) will have people blinding betting on his side. I’m not swayed here for two reasons, three actually. #1. Dave committed to making the bet on Tate while at a function with Tate, her presence probably had something to do with his decision. #2. He also stated that he was betting on each opponent that Rousey faced, re-upping, and hoping to eventually find a winner. That means he lost several rights before Holly came along. Finally, I don’t see Miesha having much more success than Ronda did. Miesha is tough and is a capable grappler. So is/was Ronda, but the difference will be her striking and inability to deal with the distance created by Holly. Miesha has been lit up before on the feet, most notably in the Julie Kedzie fight. She has improved since that fight, but Kedzie is no Holm. Holly either takes her out with or counter strikes and frustrates Tate for the decision victory. I have Holly in my #1 parlay. I plan on making in a 4-leg bet which I try to avoid, but it makes sense for this card.


While I think Holly has an excellent chance of taking out Miesha and scoring points, she tends to be a late fight stopper. She has zero 1st round finishes, usually opting to use the opening round to get a feel for her opponent and how to exploit what they are doing. She doesn’t like to show her hand too soon. She can still produce some decent points, but as mention above- those points won’t be unique. She will be played in a high percentage of teams which we want to avoid. There are cheaper, less-common, options available.

Ilir Latifi -185 vs Gian Villante +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a one of those fights where everyone, but the oddsmakers, appears to be on the same page. Latifi is currently getting 81% of the fan vote, one of the more lopsided votes on my site. Latifi’s wrestling is too good for Villante and he hits way too hard for Gian level of striking defense. If Villante was a cardio horse I could see the argument for him dragging this fight out into rounds 2 and 3 for a decision or late stoppage. But he is not. Against Anderson, he was slowing down after the first round. Villante tends to be a bit of a slow starter, which should open the door for Latifi to hammer that big right-hand home. At this price, I feel he is being undervalued. I have him in my Gold parlay. The total also needs to be looked at.


There will be a couple of fighters pulling double duty in my DK lineups. Unfortunately, there is a $100 disconnected between the 2 lineups I want to play and the 2 that I can play. Latifi is one of them. Latifi has 4 wins all by first round finish. He is a killer and hits like a truck or sledgehammer- which makes sense. Villante has 2 legit knockout losses and his repetitive style of throwing kicks is going to get him countered. Latifi is cheap at $10200 and could easily hit the 100+ point mark. He is on both of my teams.

Corey Anderson -280 vs Tom Lawlor +265 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Anderson should win this fight. But Villante should have beaten Lawlor and Kuiper should have as well. It is hard to bet on a guy that keeps catching fire in a bottle, even though I did have Lawlor over Kuiper. Anderson is bigger and better everywhere. Still I am a little leery considering the price and how Anderson underperformed against Villante. His striking is still enough of a work in progress that Lawlor could find that one spot to turn the fight in his favour. I have a couple fights where the combined value/confidence factors result in them getting ranked above Anderson. He makes the cut in my Silver parlay.


At $10600, Anderson is $100 too expensive to fit into the lineup that I had originally planned. He is a solid play and should produce points with takedowns and a more active striking attack. A finish isn’t out of the question either. Unfortunately, I can’t make it work without compromising the rest of my roster.

Amanda Nunes -115 vs Valentina Shevchenko +109

Upset alert. Nunes is very much a one and done fighter. She is so aggressive, but she is unable to carry that aggression beyond the opening round. Especially if she opens up and tries for the finish. Regardless of how she fairs beyond the opening round, she is incredibly dangerous. She is a true one-punch knockout artists, which is a rare thing in the women’s division. The reason I went with Shevchenko is I feel she has all the tools to survive the opening round and tire Nunes out in the process. Striking-wise, she is incredibly gifted. Nunes likes to throw strikes with big wind ups, Valentina will avoid her offense and counter strike effectively. Furthermore, as she showed against Kaufman- she is not a one-trick pony. Her clinch worked looked pretty decent and it will be important to both defensively and offensively. Nunes does her best work from top position, if she is unable to get Shevchenko down that will drastically diminish her ability to win the fight. Keep in mind, she needs to take her down and finish her or else a drop off in performance in rounds 2 and 3 is very likely. Another thing to consider is Shevchenko is getting a full camp for this fight unlike in her debut where she had 8 days. I have her in my Silver play. She is still relatively new to MMA and Nunes is just too dangerous early on to include VS in my top play. The total is also worth a look.


Considering Nunes’s all or nothing attitude and the likelihood that Shevchenko should/could finish her after she gasses out- I have VS on my #1 squad. That isn’t the only reason, but it is a good start. At $9500, she give us some budgetary flexibility and contrary to a number of lame duck underdogs on this card, she has actually has the potential to hit that 65 to 85 point range. Another reason she is a good add, is the lack of info the general public has about her- she won’t be a popular pick. Conversely, Nunes averages 92.6 points per fight, which is the 2nd most on the card (next McGregor), yet she costs $1100 less then McGregor. Most people will look at this and jump all over her. If Shevchenko gets her hand raised (everything is an ‘if’ until it happens, you can never be 100% certain about anything in MMA), that will further increase the significance of the win because of the points that you scored and the ones that they left on the table. Book it.

Brandon Thatch -273 vs Siyar Bahadurzada +270 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m not going to bet this fight. Siyar has been out for a long, long time. He also looked like hot garbage in his last 2 fights- but Thatch doesn’t exactly possess the type of skill set that beat Bahadurzada last time out. I like the way Thatch matches up with him on the feet, but keep in mind- Gunnar Nelson dropped him. If Siyar lands flush he could as well. The line is dropping on Thatch and simply put I don’t feel comfortable betting him at this price or anything less. The most likely my play here is the total.


Thatch has been a wrecking machine in his 2 UFC wins, but the competition wasn’t much to speak of. Comparing the caliber of opponent in his wins versus his losses, it is fairly easy to see where Siyar fits. That being said, he is far too expensive for my blood. At $10900, there are better ways to spend your money and on this type of card you better have a couple of strong dogs in mind to offset the cost. He also represents the type of fighter that people will associate with a quick finishes- too many people. Pass

Erick Silva -210 vs Nordine Taleb +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I put a lot of thought into backing Taleb. A lot of people made a big deal about Silva’s physical appearance heading into the Magny fight. I agree, he looked different. Putting that aside, he held up fairly well in a grueling 3 round fight. He did enough to even get a nod from one of the judges. If something has recently changed for the young Brazilian, it could be for the better. His lack of success after the first round is concerning. That being said, I still think he can get after Taleb in the opening round and finish him. If he can’t it isn’t that much of a stretch to see him win a second round and take a decision. Remember, Roy Nelson just picked up his first UFC decision and 2nd win to go beyond the 1st round.  All things considered, passing on Silva is the play here. Taleb has that takedown-oriented style that could trouble him in rounds 2 and 3 if he gets tired No play.


While not betting on Silva is one thing, I will be playing him in my DK lineup. It isn’t my ideal choice, but like Latifi- he is pulling double duty. Looking over my options, I would rather take a chance on playing a fighter twice then to pick a fighter that my research suggests has a minimal chance of winning. He isn’t that expensive at $10300, especially when considering all of his UFC wins have come by 1st round finish. Taleb is coming off of a submission loss and when considering the strength of his opposition prior to the Alves fight, Silva is closer to what Alves offers then those that Nordine has defeated. Taleb is just too stiff in both in standup and grappling, Silva should be able to exploit this. Silva will probably be a popular choice, which I normally like to stay away from, but considering he should probably sit somewhere around the $10500-800 range- we are getting a deal.

Vitor Miranda -270 vs Marcelo Guimaraes +257 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Brazil vs Brazil. Striker vs Grappler. The difference in this fight is that Miranda has shown himself capable of defending on the ground, where Marcelo is pretty rough on the feet. Even more concerning for the Guimaraes’s camp is that he has struggled tremendously to take his opponents down and almost forgoes his grappling skills in favour of “banging it out”. Neither man has a great gas tank, but when both start to tire I prefer the striking technique of Miranda over the low-level forced wrestling skills of Guimaraes. Mirada has been a killer, both in his 2 UFC wins and during his time on the show. Keep in mind he was knocking out HWs on TUF- the guys has power. Miranda keeps this fight standing and picks him apart. If they do hit the mat, look for Vitor to scramble his way to a better position and punish him from top position. Gold Play.


Miranda has a pair of finishes and based on what Guimaraes has shown- there is a real chance of a 3rd. Marcelo just leaves too many openings for Vitor to capitalize on. At $10700, he is a little pricey, but considering he really doesn’t have a big name, people might be inclined to make their big money purchases elsewhere- unique points here. Miranda is in my #1 lineup.

Darren Elkins +143 vs Chas Skelly -150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Here is another risk. A lot of people are capping this fight based on the premise that Skelly is simply a better version of Elkins. I do understand why they would said that, but I if you really look how these fighters matchup- there are a lot of differences. On the feet, they are both pretty rough, but aggressive. Skelly is a lot stiffer with his technique and while he may have the power advantage, he comes second in efficiency. On the mat, Skelly is a submission fighter. He goes for broke and just keeps pushing. This resulted in him giving up position against far lesser grapplers. Elkins is position over submission. Once on top, he keeps working to hold that position and stay active. That is where Skelly’s aggression could hurt him if he lands on his back. Finally, the cardio is a massive difference. Elkins has the edge. He just keeps coming and breaking guys down for the full 3 rounds. Skelly starts to breathe heavy and slow down after one hard round. When you factor in the quality of opposition that Elkins has faced, a lot of these scenarios favour him. Top position and cardio will be the difference for Elkins. Keep in mind Skelly’s 3 UFC wins came over a trio of guys with pretty poor records in fights ended by submissions. This has the makings of a close fight if Skelly doesn’t get fully exhausted and spend all of rounds 2 and 3 on his back. I think Elkins is a solid Silver Parlay addition.


Along with Shevchenko and Ishihara, Elkins is one of the underdogs that we will be looking to grab some solid points with. I was hesitant at first to play him because he is a decision machine, but his takedowns and top position strikes will still score points. I also don’t expect to see him in a lot of lineups because he isn’t know as a finisher and averages below 50pts. We need a little diversity and Elkins helps us with that and does so at a cheaper price. He joins my #1 squad.

Jim Miller -132 vs Diego Sanchez +120 

Miller can’t beat top competition anymore, but Sanchez has not been described like that for a long time. Diego is shot and for the most part he is only still in the UFC because of his association to the early days of TUF and his willingness to brawl. Jim’s striking is better and so is his grappling. This is Miller’s fight to lose. These two have been following similar downward trajectories which probably is keeping the line closer than it should be. Miller makes the cut in my Gold Parlay.


Miller also makes the cut for my #2 DK lineup. He has the ability to finish Diego, most likely by submission. Jim is aggressive and will land a decent volume of strikes as well. He is also sitting at a manageable $1000 which is nice considering we don’t have a tonne of low cost options.

Jason Saggo -185 vs Justin Salas +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The layoff/injury for Saggo is a big concern, but keep in mind that Salas has been out of action for longer. Salas’s wrestling has been pretty hit or miss. If its miss, then he has struggled tremendously. Against Tavares, he had no answer on the mat once put on his back. The same should hold true in this fight. Saggo was able to ground the much larger Felder and had a lot of success on the mat with him. He should find similar success here against Salas. Even though this is a fight that is early on the card, Saggo makes the cut as the final leg in my top parlay.


His finishing skills, and Salas’s getting stopped in all 6 of his losses makes Saggo a solid add to my #2 DK lineup. He is the type of fighter that will be overlooked by many because of his stature on the card and 1-1 record in the UFC. We capitalize on that and pick up points that few others will grab. At $10400 he is a solid add that won’t cost you as much as some of the bigger favs who are less likely to finish and more likely to be in your opponent’s lineups.

Teruto Ishihara +206 vs Julian Erosa -217 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Opening fight of the night and looking for an upset. Erosa didn’t impress me; not on the show and not in his debut. He was the beneficiary of a generous decision. He is slow and awkward and now with him returning to Featherweight, that should only be further magnified. JMMA fighters have not had a lot of success in the UFC. There have been a few, but a lot of the ones that struggle tend to come to the promotion later in their careers. Looking and Kyoji Horiguchi, he has been tearing up the FLW division against everyone but the champ. Ishihara is young as well. He is dangerous, moves well, and most of all he attacks with confidence. I was impressed with how he handled himself in his debut against a battle-tested veteran in Hirota. I see him using his speed and superior striking arsenal (power and technique) to do a lot of damage on the hittable Erosa. He makes the cut as part of Silver package mainly because he has just a single fight in the UFC.


Ishihara has a track record for finishing opponents and if Artem Lobov was able to put Erosa away, I can see a more technically sound striker like Teruto doing the same. He was one of the cheaper fighters when the DK prices were set, but the betting line has closed making him a solid option.


1. Holly Holm -284 

2. Ilir Latifi -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Corey Anderson -280 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Jim Miller -132 

5. Vitor Miranda -270 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med


6. Jason Saggo -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Conor McGregor -380 

8. Brandon Thatch -273  

9. Erick Silva -210 

10. Valentina Shevchenko +109 

11. Darren Elkins +143 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Teruto Ishihara +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1.  Teruto Ishihara +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Darren Elkins +143 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Valentina Shevchenko +109 

4. Erick Silva/Nordine Taleb Total Rounds Under 1.5 +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Jim Miller -132 

1. N/A






Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz Total Rounds Over 2.5 +175 

McGregor has been smashing opponents; 6 finishes before the end of round 2 in the UFC. Now he is moving up a division against a much bigger opponent who has only been finished once via strikes. Thomson did put the stamp on Diaz is impressive fashion, but Nate appears to be in a better place now. I am looking at the length of Nate keeping Conor from landing full powered shots with consistency. Nate could finish as well, but his damage by accumulation usually takes a couple of rounds to manifest. Play the Over.

Holly Holm/Miesha Tate Total Rounds Under 2.5 +175 

Holm has never finished an opponent in the opening round, but she has 5 finishes that still land under the 2.5 round cutoff. I expect Tate to attack head on looking to drag her to the floor. That is going to result in her walking directly into Holm’s counter striking.  Holm will establish her range and make Miesha shoot from the outside. Once she is forced to abandon her wrestling it will be all systems go for the champ as the vastly superior striking. Holm got lit up by Kedzie in another lifetime, Holm is on another level. Play the Under.

Ilir Latifi/Gian Villante Total Rounds Under 1.5 -110 

Both men can finish, which is always a nice way to start an Under prop. All 4 of Latifi’s wins have come in the 1st round and he has also been stopped once inside the opening frame. Villante packs some power in his right and a strong kicking arsenal. If he lands he could certainly put Ilir down, but I’m looking at Gian’s chin and below average striking D. Somone is going to sleep. Play the Under.

Amanda Nunes/Valentina Shevchenko Total Rounds Under 2.5 -115 

Nunes is a killer and has the ability to put anyone away that she hits. Her last 6 wins have come in the opening round. For Shevchenko, she could very well catch Nunes and stop her in round 1- she has 6 1st round stoppages of her own. More likely is that she survives the early onslaught and beats up and exhausted Nunes. Both can finish, someone most likely will. Play the Under.

Brandon Thatch/Siyar Bahadurzada 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Erick Silva/Nordine Taleb Total Rounds Under 1.5 +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Considering all 6 of Silva’s UFC wins have come in the first round, the +130 line on the Under isn’t all that encouraging for the Brazilian. With Silva as the favourite and considering his track record, we are getting some decent value here. Silva is capable of finishing both with is striking and his grappling. Taleb is a tough customer, but he won’t deal with the early aggression of his opponent. Play the Under.

Vitor Miranda/Marcelo Guimaraes Total Rounds Under 2.5 -105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I was surprised we are getting 2.5 rounds on this one and even more surprised that we are getting a line close to even. There is at least one Sportsbook that is offering this fight at 1.5 rounds which is more in accordance to what I expected. Guimaraes just doesn’t have the striking technique to hang with Miranda who has 2 UFC stoppages and has only gone the distance 4 times in 15 fights. He also doesn’t have the wrestling to take him down and negate his standup advantage. Play the Under.

Jason Saggo/Justin Salas 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Teruto Ishihara/Julian Erosa 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

LOGO (2)