McGregor vs Khabib: The Early Odds Are In for UFC 229

UFC
Updated Friday 5th October 2018, 11:23 AM


On Saturday 6th October, the biggest spectacle in the history of mixed martial arts will take place as Conor McGregor seeks to regain the UFC Lightweight Championship from the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. Their heated rivalry has been the subject of headlines around the world over recent months, and it is shaping up to be one of the most fascinating fights to ever take place in the Octagon. The odds are in, so who do the bookies have as the early favourite to emerge victorious at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas?

Fight Preview

Khabib Nurmagomedov has mauled his way through the Lightweight division, taking his previous opponents down and beating them up at will. High-level fighters like Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson and Rafael dos Anjos have all been on the receiving end of his suffocating, punishing style, and none of them looked like they had anything resembling an answer to it. Barboza can be held alongside McGregor as one of the most dangerous, technically-gifted strikers in the UFC, so the ease with which Khabib beat him will provide confidence for the fighter going into October’s fight.

Khabib’s critics still claim that his striking is too weak for him to stand with McGregor, pointing to his last fight – a hastily-arranged title defence against Al Iaquinta – as evidence that the champion has glaring holes in his game. It was certainly an uninspiring showing by Khabib’s standards, but he still came out of the fight having never looked in trouble, winning all five rounds on every one of the judges’ scorecards.

Conor McGregor hasn’t fought a mixed martial arts contest in two years. Sure, in that time he went ten rounds with one of the greatest boxers to ever step in the ring, but that spectacle was a long way from the Octagon. Since then, McGregor has been known more for his antics outside the cage, famously igniting the rivalry with Khabib by throwing a dolly through the window of a bus to get at the Russian. McGregor subsequently faced police charges for the incident, and he may still receive lawsuits from other fighters injured in the melee.

Despite the legal distractions and his absence from the Octagon, the Irish fighter still poses the biggest threat Khabib has ever faced. His striking is a match for anyone, so he will be a danger to the champion on the feet, even with the ring rust. Many point to McGregor’s left hand as his biggest weapon, but his kicking is a crucial aspect of his game. A large part of his distance control relies on his kicks, but will he be prepared to throw them and open himself up to takedowns by the fiercest grappler in the UFC?

The outcome of his fight rests on where it takes place. If Conor McGregor can keep it standing, then it’s hard to see Khabib coming away with a win. If it goes to the ground, then it will be more a question of when the champion wants to finish the fight, rather than if.

Odds on Conor McGregor

His fanbase might disagree, but the bookmakers overwhelmingly have Conor McGregor as the underdog at this stage. Odds on him emerging the winner by any means range from 5/4 (Betfred) to 7/5 (Boylesports, Coral, Ladbrokes). Unsurprisingly, narrowing in on the method of victory sees McGregor most likely to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification, according to the bookies. You can get a decent 15/8 from Boylesports on this, but most others currently have him at 7/4.

The odds on McGregor winning by submission are surprisingly short, ranging from 16/1 (Betfred) to 28/1 (Boylesports). Considering that he hasn’t submitted anyone since Cage Warriors: 47 in June 2012, the chances of him tapping Khabib – arguably the best wrestler in the UFC – are much slimmer than these odds would have you believe.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Winner
Conor McGregor
7/5
BoyleSports Logo Bet Now
Winner by KO, TKO, or Disqualification
Conor McGregor
15/8
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Winner by Submission
Conor McGregor
28/1
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Winner by Decision or Technical Decision
Conor McGregor
12/1
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

Odds on Khabib Nurmagomedov

Considering his dominance, it might be surprising to hear that more than half of Khabib’s last ten fights have been decided by the judges. There is a sense – one that the fighter himself endorses – that he toys with his opponents during his fights, and that he could finish them whenever he chooses to. He has stated his intent to do the same with Conor McGregor, and he is odds on across the board to retain his belt, from 4/7 (Boylesports, William Hill) to 5/8 (Bet365).

Despite the fact that his last couple of fights have gone the distance, the bookies still predict that Khabib will finish McGregor. You can get a handsome 3/1 from William Hill for him to submit the Irishman, or 4/1 from Betfred and Boylesports for him to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification. If you’re backing Khabib to win, these offer great returns.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Winner
Khabib Nurmagomedov
5/8
Bet365 Logo Bet Now
Winner by KO, TKO, or Disqualification
Khabib Nurmagomedov
4/1
Bet365 Logo Bet Now
Winner by Submission
Khabib Nurmagomedov
3/1
William Hill Logo Bet Now
Winner by Decision or Technical Decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov
4/1
Betfred Logo Bet Now

Other Odds

Few MMA fans will forget the moment that Conor McGregor knocked out Featherweight Champion José Aldo within 13 seconds of the bell sounding for their title match at UFC 194. It won him the first of his two UFC titles and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest fighters to compete in the Octagon. If you think he could do the same against Khabib, you can get 10/1 from Betfred for the fight to end within 59 seconds.

As far as the round betting goes, you’ll get longer odds the deeper into the fight you go. You can get 19/10 from Ladbrokes for it to be over by the end of round one (with either fighter the winner), while it’s 14/1 for it to end in the last of the five rounds. You’ll get 11/4 if you think it will go the distance.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Fight to End Within 59 Seconds
Yes
10/1
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Fight to End In Round 1
Yes
19/10
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Fight to End In Round 2
Yes
3/1
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Fight to End In Round 3
Yes
21/4
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Fight to End In Round 4
Yes
8/1
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Fight to End In Round 5
Yes
14/1
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2018 11:23:27+00:00
Published By Sports.net


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