It’s fair to say that MMA fans are excited about next month’s UFC 229 main event of Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. Say what you like about McGregor and the side show that follows his career, but he knows how to pick a good fight. Khabib is clearly the rising star of UFC, buoyed by that incredible winning streak, so for McGregor to choose to fight the Russian on his return is a brave decision.
From a betting perspective, there are a lot of factors to look at. For a start, Khabib is the favourite with almost every sportsbook. However, those odds have been tightening over the last while as the fans flock to bet on the hugely popular McGregor. You can get a complete breakdown of the fight’s betting markets at https://www.freebets.com/boxing/khabib-mcgregor-betting, including tips and links for free bets, but some of the main markets are discussed below:
As mentioned, Khabib is favourite, but the odds have come down over the last week. The Eagle is best-priced at -162.50 with Betfair, whereas McGregor’s best odds come in around +135.00 with Unibet.
All sportsbooks are in agreement that this fight ends within five rounds. You can get odds of -425.00 that it finishes early, with a reasonably big +325.00 (all odds Betfair) that it goes to a decision. It’s certainly worth noting that five of Khabib’s last seven victories went to a decision, so the latter odds might tempt some.
Method of Victory
Definitely the most intriguing market due to the contrasting styles of each fighter. Several sportsbooks give McGregor +187.50 odds of winning by TKO/KO/Disqualification. Odds for Khabib in the same market are +400.00. The reason that they are so high for the Russian is that there is the very real possibility he wins by submission, best odds of +300.00 for that (William Hill).
Making a case for the Irishman
There are lots of other markets for such a high-profile bout, so be sure to check them out to match up with your predictions. However, most fans will be simply intrigued with the question of who is walking away with the Lightweight Championship. The tagline for UFC 229, which will be held on 6th October in Las Vegas, is “The World is Watching”. That’s not just a throwaway statement – this could be one of the biggest UFC events in years.
It has become somewhat fashionable to dismiss McGregor of late. We all witnessed the farcical nature of the Mayweather fight, not to mention the Irishman’s recent brushes with the law. But underneath all the bluster lies an irrefutable truth – McGregor is one of the best fighters in UFC history.
Indeed, it is overlooked just how much his fight with Mayweather, and all the boxing training that it entailed, could help McGregor. His best weapon has always been his striking, honing that arsenal to last 10 rounds with one of the best boxers in history will surely help the Irishman against Khabib next month.
Khabib, of course, is a wonderful fighter, and this fight will end if both combatants end up on the floor. However, he will not have experienced anything like the striking power of McGregor before. If the Irishman keeps his feet, he could break the Russian’s incredible winning streak. Don’t forget, McGregor has proved his doubters wrong many times in the past. He has the tools at his disposal to, once again, make his critics look foolish. We will have a definitive answer in just a matter of weeks.