Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is a clash of styles the game of MMA was created for. Perhaps the best striker at the match vs the best grappler in this sport is a dream fight for UFC fans and Nurmagomedov, the existing UFC lightweight champion, is favored to win at -170 with McGregor coming back in +140. The mega-fight will take place tonight in Las Vegas at UFC 229.
From a promotional standpoint, making that the fight is a dream come true for the UFC since it will definitely be among the most lucrative events in their history, and by a gaming perspective, there is lots of money to be produced also. McGregor fans will probably be foaming at the mouth to put a wager about the Irishman, especially at plus-money, however is that a wise wager versus the 26-0 Nurmagomedov, whose smothering grappling design was completely unsolvable?
McGregor’s grappling skills are most likely in the typical selection and that is an area where he has been taken advantage of before. A considerably smaller Chad Mendes easily took McGregor into the mat whenever he wanted to UFC 189 (yes, I know McGregor won the fight), and he had been choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
He can have a significant disadvantage when it comes to wrestling, but there are other regions where McGregor would have a certain upper hand, most notably with his hands. Eighteen of his 21 professional wins have come via T/KO and he’s got a very impressive hit list that includes finishes of Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier and, needless to say, Paulie Malignaggi (insert smiley face emoji here).
Line Movement (or lack thereof)
If the quantity of gambling action McGregor received vs Floyd Mayweather is some indication, some bettors certainly don’t care how he matches up stylistically — after opening at +950 vs Mayweather, McGregor closed at +265 due to an avalanche of stakes placed on him.
Many, including myself, assumed we would have seen much more motion online due to plenty of people money coming in around McGregor, but this hasn’t been the case however. On the afternoon Khabib vs McGregor was declared, Nurmagomedov opened -200 with McGregor in +160. With the champ now at -170 and Conor in +140 on the day of the struggle, there’s still pretty excellent value on McGregor as a puppy and people who are convinced in Khabib should feel good about getting him at a far greater number than his starting chances.
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