The first bout came together at the last minute, but fans have been forced to wait longer than expected for the rematch. In their first fight, both fighters used a hyper-offensive style, and Diaz took home the second-round submission victory.
While the fighters are similar, it's the following statistical categories where they differ that could determine the winner.
Significant strikes landed per minute
During his UFC career, McGregor has landed 5.74 significant strikes per minute. That rate currently sits as the seventh-best rate of all time. Despite suffering his first defeat in the Octagon against Diaz, McGregor did not have trouble landing strikes. Against Diaz, he landed 6.63 significant strikes per minute, which is 20 percent higher than his career rate going into the fight.
Prior to UFC 196, Diaz landed 4.2 significant strikes per minute, but against McGregor, he nearly doubled that rate and landed 8.37. McGregor is used to landing at an extraordinary clip. However, the hyper-offensive style could leave him open to meaningful reprisals against Diaz for the second time.
Neither McGregor nor Diaz has very impressive striking defense. Their opponents have landed 41 and 44 percent of their significant strikes, respectively. However, both fighters make up for this on the offensive end. Both McGregor (44 percent) and Diaz (43 percent) are above average in terms of striking accuracy.
In their first fight, both fighters landed 37 percent of their significant strikes in the first round. The second round was a different story as defense seemingly went out the window. That tactic favored Diaz. While McGregor's striking accuracy increased to 50 percent, Diaz landed 60 percent of his significant strikes and finished the fight. McGregor should avoid entering into a brawl with the Stockton native and employ a technical striking strategy from the outside.
With his ninth submission victory over McGregor, Diaz moved ahead of Frank Mir, Charles Oliveira and Demian Maia into sole possession of second place on the all-time list of most submission wins in UFC history. His 24 submission attempts are also third most all time. Diaz averages 1.57 submission attempts per 15 minutes, which is third best among all ranked welterweights and lightweights. All three of McGregor's career losses have come via submission. Diaz showed off a big advantage in the submission game in their first fight, and it will likely play out similarly if they end up on the ground again.
Average fight time
McGregor's string of quick finishes has resulted in an extremely low average fight time of 6 minutes, 1 second. Diaz, on the other hand, has an average time of 10:53. The Cesar Gracie-trained fighter has been stopped only twice in 29 straight fights. The first McGregor-Diaz fight lasted 9:12, and it seemed as if Diaz was the more durable fighter. If the contest turns into a prolonged affair, it almost certainly favors Diaz.