The last time Conor McGregor was considered an underdog? He won in 13 seconds.
One of the most highly anticipated fights in UFC history is just a month away as Conor McGregor makes his return to the MMA to take on the undefeated superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Compelling cases can be made for both fighters which sets the stage for a must-see bout in the main event of UFC 229 on October 6. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the betting favorite to win this fight on the UFC 229 odds at -170 over McGregor at +140 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
For bettors that aren't as familiar with Nurmagomedov as they are with McGregor, this line alone should be a great indicator of just how dominant the current UFC lightweight champion has been. McGregor's immense popularity brought him all the way down from a +950 underdog to a +265 underdog in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather; the fact that his popularity and the bets coming in on him haven't moved this line show how strong of a favorite Nurmagomedov is for the match.
Of course, the last time McGregor found himself as an underdog in the octagon, he dropped the 25-1 Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. This is what makes McGregor so dangerous; he is the best striker of this weight class and one of the best strikers overall in UFC history. Whatever advantage Nurmagomedov may have on the mat won't matter if the fight ends in one strike.
McGregor is 21-3 as a professional and all but three of his wins have come by way of knockout.
On the other side of the spectrum, Nurmagomedov is one of the best in the world on the mat, dominating opponents from the top position. His 26-0 professional MMA record has a pretty even split with eight knockouts, eight submissions and 10 decision wins; all unanimous. Nurmagomedov has never faced a striker of McGregor's caliber before, but past strikers have had no openings at all to get offense going.
Bettors who like McGregor to win should perhaps wait on odds to be released on a knockout prop; the payout will be better than the +140 and it is far and away McGregor's most likely path to victory. Nurmagomedov may be the play, though; McGregor's ability to end fights in a hurry is scary, but at only -170, we may never see a price this good on Nurmagomedov again.