Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is a clash of styles that the sport of MMA was created for. Perhaps the best striker in the game vs the best grappler in the game is a dream fight for UFC fans and Nurmagomedov, the current UFC lightweight winner, is favored to win at -170 with McGregor coming back in +140. The mega-fight will occur tonight in Las Vegas at UFC 229.
From a promotional standpoint, making the fight is a dream come true for the UFC as it will definitely be one of the most lucrative events in their own history, and from a betting standpoint, there is lots of money to be made too. McGregor fans will be foaming at the mouth to place a bet on the Irishman, particularly at plus-money, but is that a wise wager versus the 26-0 Nurmagomedov, whose smothering grappling design has been completely unsolvable?
McGregor’s grappling skills are most likely in the typical selection and that is a place where he’s been cared for before. A much smaller Chad Mendes easily took McGregor to the mat if he wanted to at UFC 189 (yes, I understand McGregor won the fight), and he was choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
He does have a substantial drawback when it comes to wrestling, but there are different regions where McGregor could have a definite upper hand, most notably with his palms. Eighteen of his 21 professional wins have come via T/KO and he has an extremely impressive hit list which includes endings of Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier and, of course, Paulie Malignaggi (insert smiley face emoji here).
Line Movement (or lack thereof)
If the quantity of betting action McGregor obtained vs Floyd Mayweather is some indication, some bettors clearly do not care how he matches stylistically — after launching at +950 vs Mayweather, McGregor closed at +265 due to an avalanche of bets placed on him.
Many, such as myself, assumed that we would have seen far more motion online due to plenty of people cash coming in on McGregor, but that has not been the case however. On the day Khabib vs McGregor has been declared, Nurmagomedov opened at -200 with McGregor at +160. Together with the champ now at -170 and Conor in +140 on the day of the fight, there is still pretty good value on McGregor as a dog and those who are confident in Khabib should feel great about getting him at a far greater number than his opening odds.

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