What Round Will Conor McGregor Stop Khabib in?
On October 6th, Conor “Notorious” McGregor will step back inside the octagon for the first time in almost two years. However, he won’t be taking a tune-up fight. In fact, he’s taking on arguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in all of MMA – Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title. McGregor is the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champ, holding both belts simultaneously. Unfortunately, he was stripped of both titles due to inactivity. Instead of taking a UFC fight in 2017, McGregor fought boxing’s top PPV draw Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018, and McGregor is dealing with legal issues due to attacking a bus as he was trying to get after Nurmagomedov. After Conor settled his issues in court, he worked behind the scenes with the UFC to make the fight with Khabib for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 229.
As soon as news broke that this superfight was taking place, online betting sites and Vegas sportsbooks immediately opened McGregor as the underdog. Currently, Conor is a +145 underdog and Khabib is a -165 favorite according to BetOnline.
For those looking to jump straight into the betting action on the McGregor vs. Khabib fight, here are the top sites we recommend:
With that said, there are millions of McGregor fans around the world waiting for their MMA hero to reclaim his throne as the sport’s top fighter. Additionally, there are the pro-McGregor bettors looking to place a few wagers on Conor to win this fight.
In a previous article, I examined the possibility of Nurmagomedov winning the fight and discussed the UFC prop bets for what round he would win in. Keeping with that concept, this article will focus on McGregor winning the fight and examining the UFC 229 prop bet of which round McGregor will win in.
What Round Will the Fight End in?
In addition to only focusing on McGregor as the victor, this article is only going to examine the fight finishing inside the distance. In August, I already took a look at the fight going the distance and the corresponding betting odds. Currently, McGregor is listed as +175 to win the fight inside the distance and the line for the fight finishing inside the distance is -325 according to 5Dimes.
Let’s take a look at the following UFC 229 prop bets and choose which McGregor wagers to place your money on:
Win in the 1st Round (+400)
In his 24 professional fights, McGregor has 15 fights that have ended in the first round. Of those 15 fights, McGregor has gone 13-2. All 13 of McGregor’s 1st round victories have come via TKO/KO. In fact, McGregor has 18 victories overall via TKO/KO. That’s good for a rate of 86%.
The last time McGregor won in the 1st round was December 2015, and it was his famous KO of Jose Aldo. It was the knockout heard around the MMA world.
Win in the 2nd Round (+600)
Sevone of McGregor’s professional fights have ended in the 2nd round. Of those 7, McGregor has gone 6-1. Of his 6 second round victories, 6 of them were via TKO/KO and the 7th one was by submission. Conor’s lone second round loss came to Nate Diaz in their first fight at UFC 196. McGregor’s last 2nd round fight was the last time he stepped foot inside the octagon in November 2016. Conor defeated Eddie Alvarez via TKO and won the UFC lightweight title.
Win in the 3rd Round (+1375)
McGregor has only ever gone into the 3rd round on two occasions. At UFC Fight Night 26, Conor defeated Max Holloway via Unanimous Decision. The other time was his 5 round fight rematch against Nate Diaz in August 2016. This fight went the full 5 rounds and McGregor won via Majority Decision.
Win in the 4th Round (+2475)
As mentioned, McGregor went into the 4th round on one occasion – the Nate Diaz rematch.
Win in the 5th Round (+3675)
Other than the Diaz rematch, McGregor has never gone into the 5th round of a fight.
What Round Will McGregor Win in?
It’s no secret that McGregor is the most popular fighter in the UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. He’s also proven to be a massive PPV draw, and the UFC expects this fight to sell over 2 million PPVs. Furthermore, many pundits believe this fight will be a war of clashing styles: McGregor’s striking skills vs Nurmagomedov’s mat grinding skills.
With that in mind, the two fighters definitely bring intrigue to this event and make it challenging for bettors to decide which round to bet on. Unless McGregor can catch Khabib with a staggering right or left hand in the opening round, it’s best to skip this wagering option. I don’t see Nurmagomedov putting himself in danger during the first round of the fight. Things could pick up in the second round, but I still see these two fighters feeling each other out and looking for openings, which should chew up the clock.
Ultimately, I see this fight going into the third round and possibly beyond. For Nurmagomedov to win the fight, I believe he needs to grind it out for nearly 5 rounds and wear down Conor. However, for McGregor to win the fight, I believe he needs to be patient in his striking and defend the takedowns. That’s where the 3rd round comes into play. If McGregor has been patient in the first two rounds then he can open things up a little more in the third.
Looking at the lines for each round, you are bound to make some money if Conor finishes off Nurmagomedov from the 3rd Round on. Take a flier on the 4th Round (+2475) and the 5th Round (+3675) and bet the Conor lays hands on Nurmagomedov in the 3rd (+1375) and finishes off Khabib with a TKO.
Conor has a better chance of preventing takedowns than Nurmagomedov has in exchanging or escaping McGregor’s barrage of strikes. This is why I believe Conor can win the fight in the 3rd Round.