The betting odds are in for the newly announced Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov superfight, and they might be closer than you’d think for a fighter who hasn’t fought since Nov. 2016.
McGregor is a modest underdog at +155 while Nurmagomedov is a -185 betting favorite, in what oddsmakers are calling a wrestler versus striker format.
The lightweight title fight was officially announced for Oct. 6 at UFC 229 on Friday, with the Vegas odds coming out shortly thereafter. Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas revealed the factors that led to these odds in a BetDSI press release:
"This should be more of your a classic wrestler versus striker matchup. Style wise, it’s a nightmare for Conor. He needs to stay off his back, which will be tough to do. Nurmagomedov has been one of the most dominant wrestlers the UFC has ever seen and he will look to utilize that exact gameplan against the elite striking ability and punching power of McGregor. One of McGregor's toughest career tests was the wrestling of Chad Mendes. Khabib will present that same threat except he is bigger, stronger, has more stifling top control and significantly better conditioning. That being said, Nurmagomedov showed flaws in the stand-up against Michael Johnson so if McGregor is going to win, it'll have to be during the brief moments both fighters are upright. From a betting perspective this fight has the potential to produce a record handle for sportsbooks."
Nurmagomedov is currently the UFC Lightweight champion, a title McGregor used to have himself before being stripped from failing to defend it. McGregor is likely a betting underdog due a massive two-year layoff from mixed martial arts and being at a grappling disadvantage against one of the best pure wrestlers in the UFC.
But to McGregor’s credit, he’s won every title fight he’s been in, both inside and outside of the UFC.