Early UFC 229 Odds: Conor McGregor an Underdog Against Nurmagomedov
On Friday, August 3rd, the long awaited announcement was made that UFC’s most popular fighter Conor McGregor will return to the octagon on October 6th to take on the undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 live from Las Vegas.
It’s been almost two years since McGregor has last fought inside the octagon and he’s returning to take on one of the pound for pound best fighters in the sport of MMA. Additionally, Khabib has dominated the lightweight division, which McGregor used to be the king of. Conor is a former lightweight champ, but was stripped of the title due to inactivity. He was also the featherweight champ at the same time, but the UFC decided to strip him of that belt as well due to inactivity.
UFC president Dana White made this exciting fight announcement during a news conference on Friday. He’s also intrigued to see how well McGregor does after two years away from UFC competition. Despite the time away from the UFC, White doesn’t think McGregor should be taken lightly. In fact, Dana believes that McGregor is actually underrated. According to ESPN, White made the following comments about Conor McGregor
“And obviously for Conor, coming back from a two-year layoff, in my opinion — and it’s crazy to say this because of how popular he is around the world — but he’s one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. Everybody thinks because he speaks so well and gets so crazy and everything, it makes him sort of less of a fighter. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”
As for Khabib, this will be the biggest fight of his career. White also commented on what this fight means for Nurmagomedov:
“For Khabib, who is undefeated and who is looked at as one of the best fighters in the world, beating Conor is massive for him.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0) won the vacant lightweight title in April after defeating Al laquinta via Unanimous Decision. As for McGregor, he’s 21-3 and the last time he fought someone, it was against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match in June of 2017.
Betting Odds for McGregor vs Nurmagomedov
With the announcement of this mega-fight, oddsmakers have already released their lines for this lightweight title bout. According to BetOnline, McGregor is the underdog at +135 and Khabib Nurmagomedov is the favorite at -155. This is actually one of the closest UFC betting lines as many other sportsbooks had McGregor as a bigger underdog with lines around +150.
Since Khabib Nurmagomedov joined the UFC back in 2012, he’s been the favorite in 8 of his 10 fights inside the octagon. McGregor has been a favorite in 9 of his 10 UFC fights. He was an underdog in his fight against Jose Aldo at UFC 194.
Who’s the Pound for Pound Best Fighter?
Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered one of the best, if not the best pound for pound fighter in MMA. However, McGregor has been the best the last few times he stepped inside the octagon. Dana White commented on how he believes that McGregor is still one of the best P4P fighters in the world, according to the abovementioned ESPN report:
“When you talk about pound-for-pound, best in the world? This is a guy who is actually living proof for pound-for-pound. He [McGregor] jumps from weight class to weight class and fights people in different weight classes. He went out and boxed Floyd Mayweather, and he is literally willing to fight anybody in the world who thinks they’re better than him. It’s what makes him so popular. This isn’t a crossroads fight. This is another fight to cement his legacy as one of the best to ever do it.”
Early UFC Betting Prediction
Like Dana White said, McGregor is willing to fight anyone close in weight to him regardless if it’s in boxing or MMA. It’s an endearing attribute for the wildly popular Irishman. Count me as one of the many excited fight fans as I believe McGregor is going to put on a show. These odds are very attractive if you want to bet on McGregor. I believe that the odds are going to get closer as we get closer to UFC 229. I’m going with McGregor to pull off the upset against Nurmagomedov in October.
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