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How to bet UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz

There are a lot of factors to consider when betting on UFC 196, but a deep look into the numbers reveals big value in a few picks in particular. Ed Mulholland for ESPN

Things got crazy last week when the vibe around the UFC matchmaking process suddenly felt like an episode of "The Bachelor." With lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos injured, leaving a vacant spot across the cage against the UFC's biggest new attraction, Internet rumors, media and even the UFC helped fuel the big reveal of the mystery replacement. Who would Conor McGregor choose as his partner in the UFC 196 main event, and what lucky fighter would cash in on an unexpected payday while dos Anjos took a backseat to recover from his injury? The suspense lasted only a day, but it helped contribute to the circus environment that now precedes any McGregor fight.

The winning substitute turned out to be another fan favorite -- bad-boy Nate Diaz -- who was allowed a generous concession of a full extra weight class, due to the short notice of the fight. So instead of having McGregor attempt an unprecedented capture of two simultaneous UFC belts, we have him facing off against Diaz at welterweight -- 25 pounds bigger than McGregor's last outing in December. There's nothing on the line officially, and yet the fight remains the event headliner over the Women's Bantamweight Championship -- the first time such a scenario has occurred.