The biggest fight in the history of Mixed Martial Arts is upon us. Two dominant champions collide in what will be a swashbuckling display of hard work and skill in UFC 229 at Las Vegas on October 6th.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is arguably the most dominant fighter who has set foot in UFC’s Octagon. His professional fighting career record of 26 wins and 0 losses in unparalleled. It is also widely accepted that Khabib is yet to lose even a single round in his MMA career! As a kid, there are videos of him wrestling bears as well.
On the other hand, we have the biggest combat sports star in Conor McGregor. The Irishman has always backed up his flamboyance and shenanigans outside the fighting career. McGregor possesses an unbelievable understanding of timing and distance when it comes to striking. One punch knockout power has helped McGregor not only capture the UFC Featherweight Title (145lbs) but also the UFC Lightweight Title (155lb).
This going to be a war between two of the best fighters in the world, and so here we provide you with the betting odds for the mammoth fight.
But first, let’s focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the two guys fighting in the main event on Saturday.
The Dagestani fighter has mauled every single fighter he has faced till now. His pressure and wrestling game has broken every one. He has an endless gas tank and isn’t afraid of taking some shots to close the distance to get the hold of someone. When he is on top of you, it is almost impossible to get up, as he uses supreme technique coupled with constant transitions, while punching your face into a pulp to deflate your ego. In his own words, “Smash” is what he does to his opponents, and all 10 fighters in the UFC he competed with have received the same treatment.
But, his striking has always been questioned. In his last fight at UFC 223 against Al Iaquinta, he looked a bit sloppy. He keeps his chin up and doesn’t like getting hit that often. In fact, in a fight against an elite striker in Edson Barboza he ate all the shots and leg kicks to close in the distance. This might be a mistake against someone as elusive as Conor, who is known to throw that kill shot and shut out the lights.
The Notorious one has been known as one of the lethal strikers in the game. He stands in the southpaw stance and uses every limb to make use of his long reach. Even though he isn’t that tall, he can hit from different angles, confusing his opponents. He also possesses one hitter quitter, which has won him two titles. Against Jose Aldo in UFC 194, he slept the then Champion of 10 years in 13 seconds. He did the same to UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. Few people have been able to stand with him past two rounds, and one of them was Nate Diaz.
However, he has limited gas tank. Because he is so explosive, he also gets tired easily. In the last two fights he lost, fatigue played a major role. Also, his ground game has been questioned, but we don’t see it as being that big of a problem. With Khabib it’s not a matter if he can take you down, it’s when. If Conor exerts a lot of energy getting up back on his feet, and is pounded out all the time, his cardio will take a massive hit. He needs to keep this fight standing as long as he can, and wait for the shot on the Khabib’s chin.
Khabib is the favourite to win this fight. He is a -180 favourite. We believe this is the right call as he has a more formidable record, and the style of fighting he employs is an antidote to Conor’s. McGregor is a +155 underdog, and a lot more money will come in on him before the fight. We expect these odds changing come Saturday night in the USA.
The odds for Khabib finishing Conor by either KO or submitting are here. William Hill and Betfair are giving a 7/2 chance of Khabib knocking out Conor. While for submission the odds are 13/5.
If this fight goes all five-rounds and Khabib is victorious then William Hill are giving 7/2. It is quite possible he can drag out this fight for five rounds as Khabib wants to humiliate McGregor.
Conor McGregor winning this fight by knockout has high odds. William Hill gives a 13/8 chance if McGregor knockout Khabib and 20/1 odds if he submits Nurmagomedov.
Even though it is extremely unlikely that Conor will win this fight after five rounds, the odds of him pulling this feat off are 10/1.
Both fighters are of exceptional talent. The style matchup is perfect when it comes to MMA. An elite striker against a wrestler who mauls people. If this fight goes to the ground, it will be discouraging for Conor as Khabib will dominate him easily. It is not about his strength, it’s the technique and unrelenting pressure. He overwhelms you. But, Conor can also catch Khabib coming with a left on the nose, dropping the Russian and finishing him off. A tough call, but we believe Khabib Nurmagomedov will be retaining his UFC Lightweight Championship title and become 27-0 in his professional career.