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McGregor Listed as Underdog on UFC 229 Odds

UFC 246 Odds: McGregor vs. Cerrone

Khabib Nurmagomedov will be looking to become the first UFC lightweight champion to successfully defend his title since March 2015 when he faces former champion Conor McGregor on Saturday as a -160 favorite on the UFC 229 fight odds.

Nurmagomedov laid claim to the vacant UFC lightweight crown with a five-round unanimous decision over Al Iaquinta as -600 chalk, and now takes a perfect 26-0 professional MMA record into Saturday’s fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

That title was vacant after McGregor failed to defend it in a timely manner after winning the belt with a second-round TKO win over Eddie Alvarez in his first title defense at UFC 205, while Tony Ferguson was also stripped of the interim title he won at UFC 216 for inactivity due to injury.

In addition, the circumstances surrounding Khabib’s title victory have cast some doubt over his ability to successfully defend his championship. The Eagle was originally scheduled to face interim champion Ferguson at UFC 223 before a knee injury forced the American to withdraw.

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway stepped in to replace Ferguson, but was also forced to withdraw after being declared medically unfit on weigh-in day. That opened the door for Iaquinta, who subsequently failed to make weight, leaving him ineligible to claim the title even if he had claimed victory over Khabib.


Nurmagomedov Headlines the UFC 229 Props

Despite winning the title under less than ideal circumstances, Khabib continues to hold the edge on the UFC 229 props against McGregor, who has not made an octagon appearance since UFC 205.

In addition to leading the way on the UFC 229 moneyline odds, Khabib is pegged as a short +110 bet to post the win inside the distance, and a solid +400 bet to claim victory by unanimous decision for the sixth time in his past nine outings.

However, UFC bettors might be unwise to underestimate McGregor, who makes his return to the octagon as a +130 underdog on the UFC 229 odds. McGregor has emerged as one of the most dominant strikers in UFC history since joining the promotion in April 2013, recording seven victories inside two rounds, including an historic knockout of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo just 13 seconds into their battle at UFC 194.

That marked the first and only previous time that McGregor has entered the octagon as a betting underdog, paying out on -108 odds. However, the big question remains how prepared is McGregor following his two-year absence from the MMA world.

McGregor’s only action since his win over Alvarez came in his professional boxing debut in August 2017, when he suffered a 10th-round TKO loss to undefeated former Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a +285 underdog.

While his clash with Mayweather, which represents the longest fight of his combat sports career, will certainly add a new intangible to his already formidable arsenal, McGregor might not fare well in a lengthy clash with Khabib.

McGregor is pegged as a +1200 longshot to earn the win by decision on the Khabib vs. McGregor odds, but is a -135 favorite to land more significant strikes, and a +600 bet to end Khabib’s night with a second-round victory.


*Odds as of October 4, 2018

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