Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is a battle of styles the game of MMA was made for. Perhaps the best striker at the match vs the best grappler in this game is a dream fight for UFC fans and Nurmagomedov, the existing UFC lightweight winner, is preferred to win at -170 with McGregor coming back at +140. The mega-fight will take place tonight in Las Vegas at UFC 229.
From a promotional standpoint, making the battle is a fantasy come true for the UFC as it will definitely be among the most lucrative events in their history, and by a gaming perspective, there's lots of money to be made too. McGregor fans will probably be foaming at the mouth to put a wager on the Irishman, particularly at plus-money, but is that a wise wager versus the 26-0 Nurmagomedov, whose smothering grappling design was completely unsolvable?
McGregor's grappling skills are probably in the average selection and that is a place where he has been taken advantage of before. A considerably smaller Chad Mendes easily took McGregor into the mat whenever he wished to UFC 189 (yes, I understand McGregor won the struggle ), and he was choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
He does have a significant drawback when it comes to wrestling, however, there are different areas where McGregor would have a definite upper hand, most notably with his palms. Eighteen of his 21 professional wins have come via T/KO and he has a very impressive hit list which includes endings of Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier and, of course, Paulie Malignaggi (insert smiley face emoji here).
Line Movement (or lack thereof)
If the amount of betting action McGregor received vs Floyd Mayweather is some indicator, some bettors clearly do not care how he matches up stylistically -- following launching at +950 vs Mayweather, McGregor closed at +265 because of an avalanche of bets placed on him.
Many, such as myself, presumed we would have seen much more movement on the line due to lots of public cash coming in on McGregor, but this hasn't been the case however. On the afternoon Khabib vs McGregor has been announced, Nurmagomedov opened at -200 with McGregor at +160. With the champ currently at -170 and Conor in +140 on the afternoon of the fight, there is still pretty excellent value on McGregor as a dog and people who are confident in Khabib should feel great about getting him at a far better number than his opening odds.