On July 28th, UFC President Dana White announced that Khabib Nurmagomedov would defend the lightweight title on October 24th against the interim champ Justin Gaethje.
This bout was tentatively scheduled for mid-September, but it had to be postponed due to Khabib’s father passing away from corona virus complications during heart surgery on July 3rd.
This will be Nurmagomedov’s first fight since September 2019 when he defeated Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi. Many critics are wondering how a 13 month layoff and the passing of his father will affect Khabib.
In addition to the announcement of this title fight, Dana White also stated that he would be open to the idea of Nurmagomedov fighting Georges St-Pierre next year.
With all of this exciting UFC news hitting MMA outlets and social media, UFC betting sites have released odds for both matchups. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these Khabib Nurmagomedov betting lines and see if there’s any value.
Back in May, when Justin Gaethje put on an impressive performance in beating Tony Ferguson via 5th round TKO, online betting sites opened the interim champ as a +285 underdog. Khabib opened as a -350 favorite.
Since then, Khabib’s odds have come down to a range of -225 to -280. For Gaethje, his odds have also come down to a range of +175 to +225.
If you are looking at taking Khabib then get his odds on the low range. There is a small chance they could come down more when we get closer to fight night. For those thinking Gaethje will win, then hop on these odds now as they could also come down by fight night.
Early Betting Prediction for Gaethje vs Nurmagomedov
Gaethje (22-2, 5-2 UFC) was a former Division 1 All-American wrestler. Yet, he’s developed into one of the scariest strikers in the UFC, which was on display in his fight against the highly talented Tony Ferguson.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0, 12-0 UFC) is one of the pound for pound best fighters in the world. He’s undefeated in his pro career. Khabib has just two title defenses, but both of them were impressive as he stopped Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
In this matchup, Gaethje hits harder than Nurmagomedov and has the wrestling ability to nullify some of Khabib’s takedown attempts. This grappling separates him from Khabib’s recent title defenses.
Another area where Gaethje could pose problems is his cardio. He showed that in his fight against Ferguson where Gaethje didn’t slow down and continued to pour on a heavy output of striking. Taking it one step further, if Gaethje can land leg kicks that would greatly affect Nurmagomedov coming forward.
I believe Gaethje is the most difficult opponent Khabib has ever faced. His striking, knockout power and wrestling skills make him dangerous.
The safe play is on Khabib, but I do see Gaethje being a live dog in this fight. I would wager a small flier on him at these larger odds.
Khabib vs Gaethje –Khabib (-225)
Khabib vs GSP Betting Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-250)
It wasn’t too long ago that Georges St-Pierre talked about possibly fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title. At the time, there were some reservations from the UFC as they didn’t want GSP to win the fight and retire as the champ like he did with the middleweight title a few years back.
The UFC HOF fighter has made it a habit of retiring after big fights and that had rubbed Dana White the wrong way in the past. However, that seems to not be the case any further. Dana White spoke with ESPN earlier this week and made the following comments about Khabib fighting GSP:
“Sure, [I would be open to St-Pierre] if it’s his last fight. This guy’s been great to the company, great to the sport. I like Khabib a lot. I would do anything Khabib wanted to do.”
If you noticed, White is in agreement if that’s going to be Khabib’s last fight. He’s still trying to avoid GSP retiring with the belt again. Yet, there’s talk that Khabib could retire if he beats Gaethje and GSP. So, White and the UFC are looking at a champ leaving regardless if it’s GSP or Khabib.
GSP (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) is a legend of the sport and Canada’s greatest MMA fighter of all-time. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2007 at UFC 69 against Matt Serra.
If this bout were to come to fruition, St-Pierre would be 39 years old and out of the fight game for nearly three years. He would be going up against arguably the greatest lightweight of all time and a fighter in his prime.
The smart play would be on Nurmagomedov to win a slow paced grapple and grind fest.
Khabib vs GSP Betting Odds –Khabib (-250)
Will They Fight Before End of 2021?
The odds heavily favor this bout not taking place by the end of next year. However, I believe that the “yes” option is worthy of a flier.
Dana White is already on board with this fight if it’s going to be Khabib’s last UFC bout. Nurmagomedov would be looking to go out 30-0 and one of the pound for pound best of all-time. Both Nurmagomedov and GSP have said at different times that they want this fight.
So, if all three parties are interested in making this happen then it definitely qualifies as a wager to place a flier on. I believe we will see talks of this bout heating up more at the end of the year after the Khabib vs Gaethje fight.
GSP recently re-affirmed his desire to stay retired, but the Khabib fight could lead to a change of heart 👀
Gaethje is Khabib’s toughest opponent to date, so Nurmagomedov definitely needs to get past that fight first. If for some reason GSP doesn’t come out of retirement, we could always see a rematch between Khabib and McGregor. That would be a massive PPV success like their first fight.
Will They Fight Before End of 2021? –Yes (+550)
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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