During the last week, rumors have picked up over a potential summer showdown between MMA superstar Conor McGregor and one of the top ranked lightweights in the world Justin Gaethje.
As the UFC and Team McGregor look toward securing Conor’s second fight of the year, signs are starting to appear that Gaethje could become the frontrunner to challenge McGregor this summer especially if the title fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson gets pushed back due to the coronavirus.
Sports betting websites have picked up on the buzz over this potential PPV main event and have released opening odds for a McGregor vs Gaethje fight. Let’s take a closer look at these MMA betting lines, identify potential value, and discuss whether or not to wager on these opening UFC odds.
The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
Conor McGregor (-180)
Justin Gaethje (+155)
On the surface, McGregor’s odds don’t offer value at BetOnline. However, if you like Justin Gaethje then his odds of +155 do offer plenty of value.
Like with any other wager, I suggest doing some line shopping to find the best odds. For this particular rumored fight, William Hill has McGregor listed at -137 odds and Gaethje at +110. Sportsbook.ag, has the fight at the same odds of -115 apiece.
By looking around at other online betting sites, you can see that McGregor’s value improves with odds listed from -115 to -137. If you think he will win then jump on these lines now. For Gaethje, his value decreases at other betting sites from +155 all the way down to -115.
Will Gaethje Take This Fight?
We don’t know if McGregor will take this fight, but Justin Gaethje is definitely interested in this matchup. In fact, he’s been calling out McGregor for over a year.
Gaethje has set himself up in a good position to get a crack at the UFC lightweight title. He’s won three straight fights all by first round KO over Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza and James Vick. Currently, Gaethje is also ranked 4th in the division behind Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Dustin Poirier already defeated Justin Gaethje nearly two years ago. However, Poirier has also lost to McGregor in the past. And, with Tony Ferguson taking on Nurmagomedov in April, provided the event actually takes play due to the coronavirus, the only bout to make in the Top 5 is McGregor vs Gaethje.
With that said, many fans, pundits, and Gaethje himself believes that McGregor must fight him in order to get another title shot:
“I think I put myself in a great position to fight for a world title, to try to be the best in the world. If Conor wants to go past me, he has to go through me. I think that’s the only way to legitimize the process and make it right. I think that’s the fight.”
Will Conor McGregor Fight Gaethje Next?
This is the question that all UFC fans and media outlets are waiting to get an answer to. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of clarity at this point. As mentioned, rumors have picked up over the last week about this potential showdown, but there are still a few hurdles that could prevent it from happening.
First, McGregor could decide to take a mega boxing match this summer instead of returning to the octagon. Conor has had talks with both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao about a cross-sport fight.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao have publicly expressed interest in a potential boxing match against McGregor. Either matchup would result in a massive payday for all parties involved. That type of payday could be too much for McGregor to ignore.
Second, Dana White appears to be leaning toward McGregor taking on the winner of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson whenever that fight takes place. If the UFC President really wants a fight to happen then there’s a good chance that matchup will eventually come to fruition.
Third, McGregor also has two other options for opponents that could take place should he return to the octagon this summer.
A trilogy fight against Nate Diaz is definitely a contest that fight fans want to see. The combatants split their first two matchups and a trilogy bout could be a massive box office hit once all parties agree.
William Hill has a potential McGregor vs Diaz trilogy fight listed and Conor is a massive favorite at -250 odds, while Diaz is a +175 underdog. My initial reaction to these odds is that Diaz offers a lot of value.
Another octagon opponent that the UFC and fight fans would love to see is Jorge Masvidal versus Conor McGregor. Sports betting websites have McGregor as the underdog with odds from +130 to +140. Masvidal is listed as the favorite with odds from -155 to -175.
As you can see, there are numerous options for Conor McGregor and it’s hard to predict what he will do next. We know that he wants to fight at least two more times this year. He said that before and after his win over Donald Cerrone in January.
However, we just don’t know if it will be inside the octagon or a boxing ring this summer. And, we don’t know who McGregor will accept to face when he does decide to make his second UFC fight of the year.
McGregor vs Gaethje Predictions
As for the matchup between Gaethje and McGregor, it’s clear that oddsmakers believe that Conor will win. However, there are those within the UFC brotherhood that don’t see it that way. Henry Cejudo is one of those guys that believes Gaethje will destroy McGregor in round 1.
You can see in his tweet, Cejudo doesn’t mince words or hold back. McGregor’s bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks it will be a close fight, but would prefer to see Gaethje win:
“My opinion, I want Justin Gaethje, but I think (it’s) 50/50. I think you guys think (it’s) 50/50, too. Because it’s going to be stand-up fight, Justin is good, Conor is good on the standup, and I think it’s going to be 50/50.”
Gaethje certainly has the knockout power to end this fight, but I believe McGregor is the better overall MMA fighter between the two. I see McGregor outboxing Gaethje and eventually getting a late round TKO or a unanimous decision victory.
If you are inclined to wager now on McGregor then I would say look at William Hill or Sportsbetting.ag as their odds for McGregor beating Gaethje offer greater value.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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