UFC 229: McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
After a nearly two-year absence from the Octagon, Conor McGregor makes his long-awaited return to the UFC to face current Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The last two year have been interesting for McGregor. Between fighting Floyd Mayweather and attacking buses, McGregor’s long and tumultuous absence from the UFC has him opening as the underdog (on Sports Interaction) at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.
- McGregor 21-3 in MMA Career
- Nurmagomedov 26-0 in MMA Career
- First time McGregor has been an underdog in his UFC career
- 86% of McGregor’s win through KO/TKO
- 38% of Nurmgomefov through decision
McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov
The much-anticipated fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov caps off UFC 229. The former champion, McGregor, enters as a small underdog on most online sportsbooks. While he has some advantages over Nurmagomedov – including four inches in reach and superior striking skills – Nurmagomedov physical abilities make him a daunting foe for anyone.
The main question on everyone’s mind is whether McGregor’s long absence from MMA will affect his game enough that Nurmagomedov controls the early rounds. Nurmagomedov is an extra grappler with excellent wrestling skills. While not known for his knockout abilities like McGregor, Nurmagomedov can control the first few rounds and tire his opponents.
Conor McGregor is not known for long fights. Only one of McGregor’s last eight bouts lasted longer than the second round (a decision win only Nate Diaz at UFC 202). If he cannot strike Nurmagomedov early, then he may not have the stamina later in the match to win through other means.
One thing on the side of Conor McGregor is Georges St. Pierre and his return to the UFC. GSP returned to the Octagon last November, after a four-year absence, only to win the Middleweight Championship against Michael Bisping. However, Bisping is 30-9 in his MMA career (including his loss to GSP), while Nurmagomedov is 26-0. In fact, Nurmagomedov has the most wins of any undefeated fighters in professional MMA history.
Even though it is enticing and exciting to bet on McGregor to win, Nurmagomedov skills and history make him the better bet at UFC 229.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
Other Fight to Watch: Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis
Two more Lightweights make up the next biggest fight of the night, as second-ranked Tony Ferguson takes on eighth-ranked Anthony Pettis. A win for Ferguson would help secure him a title against either McGregor or Nurmagomedov, while Pettis hopes to stop his fall in the Lightweight rankings, after a 3-5 record since March 2015.
Ferguson is the biggest favourite on the main card at UFC 229. His ability to avoid takedowns and strikes is just one of the reasons he is favoured over Pettis. Ferguson also outclasses Pettis in reach and height, which should make it hard for Pettis to get Ferguson on the ground.
Expect this fight to last a few rounds, but for Ferguson to win and extend his UFC record for victories in the Lightweight division to 11.
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