After being stripped of the UFC Lightweight title and his foray into boxing, Conor McGregor is finally coming back to the Octagon at the UFC 229. Getting back on the throne will not be an easy challenge, however – this time, McGregor will have to face current lightweight champion and undefeated fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, his biggest nemesis considering their history.
The impatience and ‘bad blood’ between McGregor and Nurmagomedov have been going on for quite a while. Before the UFC 223 this April, McGregor was involved in a very public attack on a bus with ‘red corner’ fighters carrying Al Iaquinta and Nurmagomedov among others. McGregor managed to break one of the glasses of the bus, injuring fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg in the process. He was charged with 3 counts of assault as well as criminal mischief. The incident was provoked by a minor altercation between Nurmagomedov and Artem Lobov just a few days before. Lobov is close to McGregor, who saw Nurmagomedov’s behavior as insulting to him, which eventually led to the bus incident.
Even before and after the fight, there’s been a lot of name calling and verbal altercations between the Irish and Russian fighter. It’s clear that there’s no love lost between them, which makes the UFC 229 bout all the more enticing, along with the fact that McGregor will challenge Nurmagomedov for the title.
This time, McGregor will be the underdog in the fight due to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s perfect record. The Russian fighter is still undefeated in his professional career, with 26 wins out of 26 fights. He’s one of the best UFC lightweight fighters in history and will surely give McGregor a run for his money. Of course, no one should disregard the Mac – he’s defeated some of the fiercest MMA fighters before and he’ll try to bring down Nurmagomedov in any way he can.
Can Nurmagomedov Continue His Perfect Career Record?
Nicknamed The Eagle, Nurmagomedov is one of the few MMA fighters with a perfect record in the Octagon. He’s greatly considered to be one of the best fighters in history and has earned more than a few ranks in other combat sports as well, including Sambo, Judo, Pankration, and Hand-to-Hand combat. He’s the current UFC Lightweight champion, after winning the vacant title vs. Al Iaquinta at the UFC 223. The fight on October 6 will be his first title defense, and the fact that McGregor is his challenger makes it pretty interesting.
This time, however, The Mac isn’t the favourite. Nurmagomedov is tipped to win the fight at most bookies, and there’s a considerable gap in the odds between both fighters. He’s available at 10/17 at MansionBet, LV BET, and Fun88, and 20/33 at SportNation and RedZoneSports. He’s clearly the main favourite, but not really enticing in the eyes of punters. At 20/33 or 10/17, you won’t win much by betting on Nurmagomedov, so it might be better to direct your attention elsewhere.
The good news is that besides the full-time winner odds, all these bookies offer a host of exciting markets with great odds that definitely deserve a look.
Will McGregor Return to the UFC In Style?
Conor McGregor is the most popular fighter in the UFC. That can be generally attributed to his media presence and feisty temperament, but no one should undermine his fighting skills. Although his record isn’t perfect, McGregor scored some big wins in his career, most notably against Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez in 2016, when he won the UFC Lightweight title. He was later stripped off it due to inactivity, and his incidents in public threw a big shade on his career.
In the meantime, McGregor took some time off the UFC and entered the world of boxing. He fought the great Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a heavily publicized match that now ranks second in PPV buys in the history of combat sports. He was ultimately defeated that night, but the Irish fighter is adamant that this was not his sole foray into boxing. Currently, though, he’s focused on the UFC and the upcoming fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Mac is not the favourite this time. He’s being given odds of 27/20 at MansionBet and Fun88, 5/4 at LV BET, and 13/10 at SportNation and RedZoneSports. This means that bookies believe he can win the fight, although it’s clear that Nurmagomedov has the bigger chances of winning. If the event took place two years ago, things would probably go the opposite way, but McGregor’s inactivity in the UFC has obviously cost him.
On the other hand, punters will probably take chances on McGregor, as he’s the more enticing choice.
Round Betting and Round Group Betting
Due to the popularity of the bout, bookies are offering an abundance of markets which, we must say, look much better than predicting the full-time winner. Round Betting is one of the markets which can bring you a nice sum in return for a reasonable bet. You can go for Khabib Nurmagomedov in Round 1 at 5/1 (RedZoneSports, SportNation, MansionBet, Fun88) or bet on McGregor in the same market at odds of 11/2. Whatever side you pick, there’s serious money to be made in this market.
Then there’s the Ground Group market – if you think that Conor McGregor will win in Rounds 1-2, you can place a wager on his 11/5 odds. Nurmagomedov isn’t lacking behind in the same market, being given odds of 53/20 (MansionBet, SportNation, Fun88, RedZoneSports).
Method of Victory
The Method of Victory market is pretty interesting as it offers great odds if you can predict which fighter will win the match with one of the offered methods. This is a market aimed at more experienced punters who know a lot about the sport and the history of the fighters. If you think that Nurmagomedov will win by KO, TKO, Submission or Disqualification, you can bet on his 21/20 odds (SportNation, Fun88, RedZoneSports, MansionBet). In the same market, McGregor is available at 33/20.
You can also place a bet on each fighter to win by decision or technical decision (Nurmagomedov – 15/4; McGregor – 39/4) or predict if the match will end in a draw (65/1).
Over/Under Rounds Full Time
The over/under market has become a favourite among punters as it’s sometimes easy to predict when the match will end. The market offers enticing odds for predicting if the match will go over or under the line of rounds offered by the bookie. For the Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor bout, the odds stand at 1/1 for Over 2.5 rounds and 20/29 for Under 2.5 rounds (Fun88, SportNation, RedZoneSports, MansionBet).
LV BET is the undefeated champion when it comes to special markets for the UFC 229 main event. The promising bookie offer betting on rarely seen markets such as if a takedown will be landed in each round (Yes – 2/5), will McGregor land the most takedowns and significant strikes (Yes – 29/1) or if the match will end during the first minute (Yes – 13/2). All the individual markets are available for Nurmagomedov as well – if you think you can predict any of these factors, it’s a good idea to give LV BET’s special market a good look.