- When: 7th October 2018
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, USA
- Watch: BT Sport
- Official Website: The UFC
There’s rarely a dull moment in the life and career of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, and this weekend the Notorious gets back in the MMA Octagon to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. McGregor was last seen strutting his stuff in a boxing ring in August 2017 against one of the all-time great pugilists, Floyd Mayweather, in an ill-conceived, but highly lucrative bout.
McGregor’s opponent here, Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov, may not be as recognised by the general public as the Irishman, but avid UFC fans will be all too aware that the current lightweight champion is going to be very tough to overcome. Has McGregor bitten off more than he can chew on this occasion?
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McGregor v Khabib Betting Tips
McGregor Record and Form
There is little doubt McGregor is one of the finest fighters UFC has seen, and he has always been a massive crowd-draw, though some would argue this is as much for his showmanship as his ability in the Octagon. That said, his MMA record of 21 victories and just three defeats is up there with many of the best in the sport. Two of those defeats were a long time ago however, with the loss to Artemij Sitenkov being in June 2008 and that to Joseph Duffy in November 2010, both by submission.
McGregor’s most recent defeat, putting aside his loss to Mayweather in the boxing ring, was against Nate Diaz in March 2016, who forced a submission with a choke hold. The Irishman made amends for that only five months later, however, when he defeated Diaz on a majority points decision. His last UFC fight was a TKO victory against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 in New York.
Nurmagomedov Record and Form
While McGregor once put together a run of 15 straight wins, Nurmagomedov has gone way past that with 26 victories on the bounce. With no defeats, this sambo and judo master is very adept at forcing submissions from opponents, as he showed against Michael Johnson in November 2016. But he is equally at home exchanging blows with the best of them, knocking out Thiago Tavares in under two minutes in 2013.
While it fair to say that Nurmagomedov has not always had to face the very best fighters in the game, he is certainly a worthy champion and he is the rightful favourite coming into this bout.
Predictions and Bets
The bookies are pricing Nurmagomedov as the clear favourite to win this one, with most firms offering odds of around 8/13 on the Russian to prevail in Las Vegas. McGregor, meanwhile is available at odds as long as 29/20 with some bookies (such as Coral), and this could prove to offer some real value if the Notorious turns up fighting fit and firing on all cylinders.
Delving into the stats, we see that the pair appear equally proficient when it comes to getting strikes on opponents, but Nurmagomedov has the advantage when it comes to takedowns and submissions. If McGregor is going to get the victory, we predict it will come on a points decision, as we’re not convinced he’ll have enough to knock Nurmagomedov out. McGregor learned from his defeat to Diaz, when he allowed himself to get caught in a choke hold, and he will be attempting to use all his athleticism to stay out of Nurmagomedov’s clutches. With potentially higher energy levels and a slightly longer reach, we think backing the Irishman to score enough to edge a points win could prove shrewd at very decent odds.
Betting Tip – McGregor to win by Decision or Technical Decision at 14/1 at Betfair