Khabib Nurmagomedov will be aiming to stay perfect when he puts his UFC lightweight title on the line against Conor McGregor next weekend, set as a steady -155 favorite on the UFC 229 fight odds.
The 30-year-old Russian has dominated the lightweight division since joining the UFC in 2012, tallying 10 straight victories, capped by his unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta as -600 chalk at UFC 223. Khabib also claimed the UFC lightweight crown with that win while lifting his professional MMA record to an unblemished 26-0 going into his matchup with Conor McGregor on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena.
Nurmagomedov has demonstrated smarts and durability during his steady climb to the UFC lightweight championship, taking opponents the distance in six of his 10 UFC victories. But while he is pegged as an attractive +400 bet on the Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 229 odds to defeat McGregor by decision or technical decision, he is more likely to need to fall back on his experience as a submission specialist.
McGregor has gained a well-earned reputation as an effective striker by posting knockout victories in 18 of his 21 professional MMA victories, including 14 wins inside five minutes. However, McGregor has proven to be vulnerable on the mat, with each of his three professional defeats coming by submission.
That bodes well for Khabib, who has recorded eight submission victories over his pro career. Two of those submission wins have come against UFC opponents, including a third-round win over Michael Johnson as a -335 favorite at UFC 205, and over Kamal Shalorus in his promotional debut at UFC on FX 1.
Khabib Favored Wager on Submission Win Odds
Not surprisingly, in addition to pegging Khabib as a heavy -105 favorite to earn the win inside the distance, the UFC 229 odds also list the Eagle as a strong +205 bet to record a submission win.
However, Khabib’s win over Johnson was far from easy. The 32-year-old American connected on strikes that threatened to take Khabib down in the first round. While Khabib recovered to dominate down the stretch, he may be less fortunate in the face of an early onslaught from a superior striker like McGregor.
McGregor set the UFC record for the fastest knockout by defeating Jose Aldo just 13 second into their UFC 194 clash, which earned him the UFC featherweight title at UFC 194. The Dublin native used a similar approach in his opening-round knockout wins over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 and Marcus Brimage in his promotional debut at UFC Sweden 2.
McGregor’s opening-round prowess is reflected on the UFC 229 method of victory odds, where he is pegged as a short +165 wager to claim victory by KO, TKO, or disqualification.
But aside from technique and experience, perhaps one of the biggest keys to success for Khabib will be not allowing McGregor to get into his head.
The rivalry between these two fighters intensified with the McGregor-led assault on Khabib’s bus prior to UFC 223. The flamboyant Irishman has also built a reputation for trash talking, both on the stage and in the cage, and will likely attempt to verbally intimidate Khabib once the bell sounds signaling the start of next week’s highly anticipated matchup.
*Bovada Odds as of September 27, 2018
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