UFC Odds: What’s Next for Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov?

by Rick Rockwell
on October 8, 2018
7

Minute Read

UFC 229’s main event between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov definitely made history and left a mark on the sport that will surely stand the test of time. Unfortunately, the historic encounter left us with a post-fight brawl that has marred the UFC and left a black eye on a fight that Nurmagomedov looked extremely impressive in.

With all of the chaos surrounding the UFC and these fighters, it’s unclear where we go from here. There have been several options spoken of by UFC’s Dana White, but nothing guaranteed. The following is a look at where McGregor and Nurmagomedov might go next:

What’s Next for Nurmagomedov?

For Khabib, everything starts with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) who is investigating the post-fight brawl. The NSAC has already withheld Khabib’s fight purse of $2 million and could possibly suspend Nurmagomedov for a lengthy amount of time. If that happens, then the UFC will strip Khabib of the lightweight title.

With Khabib’s immediate future up in the air, we can only speculate as to what will be next for the undefeated superstar. Many fans and pundits would love a rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov, but it’s unclear if the UFC would do that right away. It might be best if the UFC goes a different route for Khabib’s next fight. Perhaps a title defense against Tony Ferguson?

Dana White told ESPN the following about a potential fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson:

“Tony Ferguson looked amazing. Those two have been lined up three different times to fight and it hasn’t happened. We’ll see how things play out.”

Ferguson defeated Anthony Pettis in the semi-main event of UFC 229 and earned the Fight of the Night honors. Ferguson improved to 14-1 in the UFC and 24-3 overall. It’s been over 6 years since Tony last lost and he’s definitely deserving of a title shot. The only question is will it be before or after a McGregor vs Nurmagomedov rematch?

If you ask Ferguson, he believes that he’s still the champ. He also believes that Khabib should fight him next. In his post-fight press conference, Ferguson made the following comments:

“Khabib and I deserve to fight, we need to fight for the fifth time. We need to try this out again. Me as the champ. I was the interim champ. I’m still the fu**ing champ. There’s no BS in this.”

A Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson fight would be incredible to watch. But, will the UFC put this above a McGregor rematch?

What’s Next for McGregor?

McGregor posted on social media after his UFC 229 loss: “We lost the match, but won the battle. The war goes on.” Both Conor and Khabib said that their feud would not end at UFC 229 no matter what happened. Well, with a post-fight brawl that saw chaos inside and outside of the octagon, you can bet that this rivalry will definitely continue.

McGregor reached out to Dana White right away and stated that he wanted an immediate rematch against Nurmagomedov. However, as mentioned above, there’s a possibility that Khabib gets suspended due to his post-fight brawl. Additionally, he could get stripped of the UFC lightweight belt according to comments made by Dana White. With that said, if Nurmagomedov is unavailable for a rematch against McGregor then who will Conor fight next?

There are some fans and pundits who are clamoring for a Diaz vs McGregor trilogy fight. Unfortunately, both combatants stated that they were not interested in this possibility. In my opinion, this leaves only one immediate contender for McGregor – Tony Ferguson.

A McGregor vs Ferguson fight would solve who deserves the match against Nurmagomedov. And, if Khabib is stripped of the belt, then a Conor vs Tony fight would be for the lightweight championship. Either way, Ferguson has become a legitimate contender in the lightweight division and worthy of a big fight against McGregor or Nurmagomedov.

Let’s not forget that during the week leading up to the UFC 229 fight, McGregor said he would be interested in fighting Ferguson or Pettis if Khabib pulled out of their fight. So, Conor has recognized the potential value in this matchup.

A McGregor vs Nurmagomedov Rematch

It should come as no surprise that a rematch is what everyone wants right now. McGregor would love to get redemption and revenge for his loss. Nurmagomedov has developed a deep hatred for Conor and would love to beat him up again. And, the UFC would love to make even more money off this fight. It’s a winning situation for all parties involved, including the fans. With Nurmagomedov’s future up in the air, a rematch will have to be put on hold for now. The UFC will wait until the Nevada State Athletic Commission makes their ruling before the MMA promotion decides on what to do next.

However, that hasn’t kept online sportsbooks from releasing odds on a possible rematch. MyBookie has listed their rematch odds and it should be no surprise that Nurmagomedov is a huge favorite:

  • Conor McGregor (+240)
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (-300)

Additionally, MyBookie has the following prop bet on how a rematch fight will end:

  • Nurmagomedov by Decision (-150)
  • Nurmagomedov by KO, TKO, Submission or DQ (+175)
  • McGregor by KO, TKO, Submission or DQ (+750)
  • McGregor by Decision (+750)
  • Draw (+2500)

If you are inclined to place a wager on this rematch right now, or in the immediate future, then there is some betting value to be found.

The way that Nurmagomedov dominated McGregor in their UFC 229 fight, should’ve made the odds for Khabib winning in a manner other than Decision a lot lower. For this line to be listed at +175, I’m pleasantly surprised. Nurmagomedov manhandled McGregor and almost won via TKO in the 2nd round before winning via submission in the 4th round. His strengths and game plan for a rematch will almost certainly duplicate what he just did, mostly because that’s how he fights.

The only other value I see with these options is a McGregor win inside the distance at +750 odds. This number is high, but not surprising considering what just happened.

Final Words on What’s Next

If the UFC can make a rematch fight between Nurmagomedov and McGregor then they will definitely go that route. It’s a big money fight that will definitely draw even more PPV buys considering what happened in the first encounter. The UFC, and Dana White, might be making all of the right comments in the public, but I’m willing to bet that behind closed doors they’re secretly loving the publicity and the knowledge that promotion will make even more money in a rematch. Keep in mind, this is the same promotion that used McGregor’s bus attack as a marketing tool for this fight.

For now, all we can do is wait for the NSAC’s investigation to see what happens to Nurmagomedov. After that concludes, we’ll have a better idea where Khabib and McGregor go from here.

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