Khabib is the champion but Conor has the X factor. Calling this fight outcome for the UFC lightweight title is as tough as they come. Whenever Conor McGregor is involved, the play very rarely follows the script. The Irishman’s reputation usually weighs heavily on him being favourite when he fights, but not on this occasion – that honour goes to Khabib.
So, to make things interesting in this betting preview we’ll be including the opinions of pro fighters to our own thoughts on how it could end.
McGregor vs. Khabib at UFC 229 Betting Odds
To win outright
Facts first. Khabib has never lost a bout in his UFC career but McGregor has. The Russian title holder has also been more active than his adversary in the last two years giving him the advantage of drawing on recent wins for momentum into this UFC main event.
During his time out of the Octagon McGregor has kept busy, but all for the wrong reasons: firstly, his humiliating loss to Mayweather in the boxing ring; and then his attack on the bus carrying Khabib and his crew, which led to a legal battle with the US authorities.
This sequence of events is hardly fine preparation for a duel with a fighter who many athletes label the hardest man in the 155 lb division. But this is a Conor McGregor event, which means anything is possible.
|To win outright||McGregor||Khabib|
McGregor to win by TKO/KO or stoppage
If Khabib has an obvious weakness, it’s his stand-up game. Both Michael Johnson and Al Iaquinta exposed him for his poor footwork and guard when trading strikes. This is sweet music to Mcgregor’s ears. Unless he can correct his errors of leaning back with his chin to the side, the Eagle makes for an easy target for a “smack”.
The experts applaud McGregor for not only knowing how to catch a fighter with that bomb of a left hand, but how to remain composed when hunting them down to finish a fight. We’ve witnessed the Irishman sending shockwaves through his opponents’ bodies with a left cross before allowing them to get to their feet and then picking them off with pin-point combos – that reference goes out to Eddie Alvarez.
McGregor simply doesn’t win by submission, and very rarely by decision. Seven of his nine UFC wins have finished in a knockout. That’s a realistic bet for how he can finish off Khabib.
|Method of victory||McGregor KO/TKO||McGregor decision|
Khabib to win by TKO/KO or stoppage
Khabib isn’t a stand-up artist, let be honest about that. If he wins it won’t be through him catching McGregor with a sweet right to the temple. Rule out any bet on him to win by KO or TKO.
As mentioned earlier, McGregor has tasted defeat in the UFC and at the expense of being on the mat. His backstory tells us he isn’t as comfortable grappling as he is striking. And Khabib revels in taking his opponents down, so that’s where you’d expect him to inflict the most damage on the Notorious, should he have his way.
If the Eagle’s winning strategy is hinged on smothering the “champ-champ” then and he has a full 25 minutes in which to administer that pain. McGregor is no friend to cardio especially when fighting off his back. This is an interesting market to wager money on.
|Method of victory||Khabib KO/TKO||Khabib decision|
Fight to go the distance
If there’s a sensible bet to pluck from these markets, it may be for the fight not to go to the judges scorecards. Both fighters know how to steal a win inside the distance, each with their own methods of demolition: Conor with his fists; Khabib on the mat.
Although Khabib is known to be a slow starter he won’t have the privilege of doing so when facing a fluid, offensive Conor McGregor game plan in the Octagon. The Irishman’s cardio is a pain-point, hence making an early finish all the more assuming, but at what cost..? Back this market as a contingency plan.
|Fight to go the distance||Yes||No|
Everyone in mixed martial arts seems to have a opinion on this event. Here’s a glimpse of who former and current fights are backing to win the fight.
- Justin Gaethje – Khabib
- Nick Diaz – Khabib
- Colby Covington – Khabib
- George St. Pierre – Khabib
- TJ Dillashaw – McGregor
- Brendan Schaub – Khabib
- Eddie Alvarez – Khabib
- Alexander Gustafsson – Khabib
- Uriah Faber – McGregor
- Kevin Lee – Khabib
- Tyron Woodley – McGregor
- Bas Rutten – Khabib
Watch the full video of expert predictions for this match below:
Editor’s picks for UFC 229:
Our Verdict – McGregor To Win (by a whisker)
We have two picks for this UFC fight: our first betting prediction is for Khabib to win by stoppage as a result of ground and pound tactics; in contract, we’d also back McGregor to win the fight if both guys stay on their feet – the challenger stands strong chance of winning by keeping his distance and popping Khabib as he moves forward flat-footed. On balance, it’s a 60-40 fight in Khabib’s favour.
Who are you backing to win and why..?