- The tale of 2016 for McGregor has been all about his two fights with Nate Diaz at welterweight level. Having lost the first bout by submission after being caught by a rear naked choke, the Irishman won the rematch thanks to a majority decision to take his overall career record to 20 wins and three losses.
- Alvarez has won both his fights this year, defeating Anthony Pettis via a split decision in January and then taking the lightweight title from Rafael dos Anjos in July when the referee had to step in before the end of the first round. The American was last beaten in September 2014, by Donald Cerrone, and has 28 victories to four defeats in his career.
Alvarez may be the current lightweight champion, but McGregor has admitted that he feels more comfortable fighting in this division than he does at featherweight, and is understandably a marginal favourite with the bookies. Described recently as one of a kind by UFC president Dana White, McGregor’s stats back up his reputation and he is somehow able to keep up the accuracy of his power punches whilst mixing in a lot of head kicks.
Alvarez has arguably never fought better than he did in his victory over dos Anjos, and certainly has a chance if he can follow through on his plans to put McGregor on the defence. The American is an expert at controlling the Octagon and the more confident wrestler, but McGregor’s superior all-round skills should see him emerge triumphant. If the odds of around 8/13 on an outright victory don’t quite sound appealing enough, then betting on the Irishman to finish it at round two at 6/1 might be worth considering. While most of McGregor’s knockout wins have come in the first round, he has also won five times in the second round and he will have to work hard to take down Alvarez.
It promises to be a magical night in New York and the main card also features such great fights as Tyron Woodley against Stephen Thompson at welterweight and the women’s strawweight clash between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. There are a range of markets available on all the bouts, giving UFC fans the chance to try and beat the bookies.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Conor McGregor to beat Eddie Alvarez in Round 2 - 6/1
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.