No matter what happens at the MGM Grand this Saturday, Conor McGregor can't lose. McGregor was supposed to move up one weight class and challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the Lightweight title at UFC 196. Instead, McGregor will be moving up two classes to fight Nate Diaz as a welterweight, after dos Anjos suffered a broken left foot in training. It's a big challenge for the Irish sensation. At press time, McGregor is a -375 favourite, but a loss under these circumstances shouldn't tarnish his reputation much.

Holly Holm, on the other hand, is very much in need of a win Saturday night. She'll be defending her Women's Bantamweight title for the first time; Holm's opponent is Miesha Tate, who was unsuccessful in her two career fights against Ronda Rousey – the woman Holm dominated last November at UFC 193. Holm is the -360 favourite at press time.

Fists of Fury

McGregor (19-2 lifetime) may be the current UFC Featherweight champion, but Saturday won't be his first rodeo at the higher limits. He held both the Featherweight and Lightweight titles simultaneously for Cage Warriors back in 2012, before making his debut in the Octagon. McGregor is already one of the biggest featherweights in the promotion at 5-foot-9, and outside of the UFC, he typically weighs around 170 pounds, which happens to be the welterweight limit.

He'll still be dwarfed by Diaz (19-10 lifetime). At 6-feet tall, the former Lightweight champion has fought four times at 170 pounds, winning the first two but losing the third. Then Diaz failed to make weight when he lost to dos Anjos in late 2013, after which he took a year off before earning a unanimous decision over Michael Johnson last December. Despite giving up three inches in height and two inches in reach, McGregor has predicted that he'll put away Diaz at the end of the first round. His superior conditioning should help him overcome the size difference in this match.

Holm (10-0 lifetime) will also be the bigger fighter in her title bout. The champion is two inches taller than Tate (17-5 lifetime) at 5-foot-8, with a four-inch reach advantage. Holm also brings a southpaw stance to the Octagon; she should be able to keep her distance and pepper Tate with punches, much like she did to Rousey in their title fight. However, Tate now has a chance to use her grappling skills in a way that she never could against Rousey, who owns a 4th-degree black belt in judo. She'll have to do it quickly, though. Like McGregor, Holm brings superior conditioning into her title fight, plus plenty of knockout power. This bout might not get past the first round either.


See all UFC 196 Odds here.


*Odds as of February 29, 2016