We are roughly 8 weeks away from what UFC President Dana White is calling the biggest fight in UFC history. He is estimating the PPV buys to be upwards of 2 million. At $60 a pop, you can easily do the math and see that a profit should be made.
The new Lightweight World Champion of the UFC, Khabib “The Eagle Nurmagomedov will defend his belt for the first time against the previous 155 pound champion who was stripped of his title due to inactivity, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.
Tensions for this contest already reached a boiling point back in early April when Conor McGregor lived up to his moniker by “Notoriously” throwing a dolly through the window of the UFC fighter bus at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
McGregor and his crew were initially attempting to get Khabib off the bus to confront him in response to Khabib’s confrontation of Conor’s SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov a day earlier.
With Conor’s day in the New York City Courts behind him, he is free to compete again.
Heck, he is free! Many many people have done much less damage to people/property and it has cost them their freedom for years.
He should truly be thankful. He has preached it in the past, so let’s hope he listens to himself and is the better man for it.
Khabib is the champ even though many feel that he hasn’t earned it. He beat Al Iaquinta in a dominant yet underwhelming performance that, for the first time, exposed some glaring weaknesses in his overall mixed martial arts game.
Most of you already understand that this fight is a matchup of opposing styles. Khabib is a grinding dominant wrestler who demonstrates outstanding control of his opponents while landing very powerful punches and elbows on the ground.
Conor is, of course, a devastating striker who loves to catch his opponents with his death touch of a left hand as they are coming into range. That isn’t all he can do, though, as we saw his use of leg kicks against Nate Diaz prove to be the difference in their epic rematch.
He probably will leave the leg kicks in the gym for this fight, though, because Nurmagomedov probably doesn’t need help getting the takedown.
So, why give him your leg?
Picking this matchup isn’t easy and many fans and experts alike will change their mind at least once before these two warriors smack each other with their bones in a couple of months.
One of the beautiful things about MMA is a fight can play out in an infinite number of ways.
Let’s look at some prop bets from 5Dimes that can be a lot of fun, very profitable, and even help us make a more firm decision on the winner.
Prop Bet to Avoid
Fight Goes to a Decision: +275
Fight ends in Under 25 Minutes: (-365)
It looks like the sportsbooks believe this fight isn’t going the distance. Many fans and experts are saying the same thing.
Let’s look at the numbers. Nurmagomedov has let the fight go to the judge’s scorecards in 5 of his last 7 fights including the previous 2 against Edson Barboza and “Raging” Al Iaquinta.
One thing to keep in mind is that both of those guys have better gas tanks than the “built for speed/fast twitch muscle fiber king” Conor McGregor. Heck, 80% of the UFC roster has more endurance than the former “champ champ” as he still likes to call himself.
Yes, Khabib is a grinder and he has stated that he wants to make McGregor suffer in there. It looks like he wants to take him to the deep waters of the championship rounds, keep him there, and take his time with a finish.
But wait, Khabib has only been to those championship rounds once before in his title fight with Iaquinta. He didn’t look like he got very tired but he wasn’t having to work very hard chasing Al or trying to land big shots. Al stayed in from of him, ate a few jabs, and was taken down fairly easily.
Not being challenged in a fight usually leads to a win, so it’s obviously a good thing for a fighter.
I worry somewhat about Khabib’s nerves, though. I’m not saying he’s going to go out there and pull off a Jose Aldo or Cody Garbrandt type of performance where his emotions run high enough to slow the rest of his game. I don’t think he will handle it as well as Floyd Mayweather, though, either.
If he doesn’t already, Nurmagomedov will have some hate deep down in his heart come October 6th. Conor Mcgregor is too good of a talker for Khabib not carry some negative baggage into the Octagon with him on fight night.
25 minutes is a long time, though. Conor has gone 25 minutes in a fight before, once. Khabib has only done it once before as well. Many don’t see this fight going the distance but if certain scenarios play out, it’s definitely a possibility.
The (+260) doesn’t pay out well enough to wager any significant amount of cash.
So, go with the (-380)?
That’s pretty expensive and it isn’t nearly as likely that McGregor wins a decision than does Nurmagomedov.
The prop bets with the most value, in this case, are the most specific. Let’s looks more into those.
The Bets to Target
McGregor Wins Inside of 5 Rounds: +200
McGregor Wins a Decision: +865
Now, we have both odds on the plus side. If Conor wins, it “should” be inside the distance.
“Should” is a bad word, though.
Seriously, it is.
It signifies expectations which are usually a bad thing.
If you expect something to happen, chances are you didn’t think it through 100%. It’s natural for our brains to skip over the fine print when we think we already know what’s going to happen. Many times, this is beneficial for us because we expect the water and the lights to turn on every day. 99% of the time that isn’t a problem but when it is, we are seldom 100% prepared.
Just as these fighters are going to take the next 8 weeks to fully prepare themselves for battle on October 6th, as a bettor you have to educate yourself the best you can to make the most informed decision possible.
You do that by reading cool articles like this one outlining several potential scenarios that we could and not expect to see play out on fight night.
(+200) on the surface doesn’t sound too bad of odds to see Conor win inside of 5 rounds. When you look at the odds for Conor to simply win the fight you see they are not very far off at (+140).
Picking him to win inside the distance as opposed to a decision is likely but the juice is only (+60) more and isn’t worth the proverbial squeeze.
McGregor winning a decision is unlikely, but many didn’t think his second fight with Nate Diaz would go the distance either. It, of course, did and Conor did get tired early. He found his second wind, though, and with Nate slowed from the leg kicks, he was able to secure the win.
PLACE YOUR BET
Nurmagomedov Wins Inside 5 Rounds: -115
Nurmagomedov Wins a Decision: +380
This may surprise some folks because a Khabib win by finish is minus money at (-115). The likeliest scenario is Khabib beating on Conor until he tires in the middle rounds and either gives a submission up or is TKO’d.
I would think a Khabib decision win would be the most likely out of the scenarios we’ve discussed. That’s great because it pays at (+380)!
That’s about 3-4 times as much as I was “expecting”.
You see where that gets ya, right?
An outright win for Khabib in any manner in any time frame has odds that are currently set at (-170). That isn’t so far off of the (-115) that would have him winning only by finish.
PLACE YOUR BET
Many times when two fighters hate each other so much or they just really really don’t want to lose, they fight that way. They fight not to lose instead of just going out there looking to win.
Fighters will play it safe when it comes time to take a chance and there goes that opportunity to get that elusive finish. It is very possible that this fight could play out that way.
I can see Conor with his 4-inch reach advantage using his jab better than he has in the past to control the range. Khabib will be looking at front kicks up the middle, then a likely defense of a rear uppercut to a lead hook finishing with his patented left cross.
Khabib will be able to walk through a few of those or enough to get a couple takedowns making this a close contest through five rounds of war. The fact that it’s a close fight will mean both guys will be at least a hair more careful with their offense.
This could definitely lead to a decision win for…?
The Fight Goes to a Draw: +8500
The Fight is not a Draw: -23000
Why not, right? I can see Khabib getting a 10-8 round somewhere in there with Conor winning 3 out of 5 rounds total.
That’s all it takes for an 85-1 payout?
We are still 2 months away from this fight, but the talk around MMA town is that it’s going to be the biggest fight in UFC history.
We have all heard that before, of course, but many times it became the truth as the pay per view buy record has been broken many times.
Picking a winner right now is not easy for anyone. Actually, it’s even harder for the ones who think they know. Those poor souls aren’t even aware of their ignorance.
Please make a note that reads: ignorance awareness is key.
It will save you many times at the betting window and in life as well.
We don’t know what’s going to happen when these two killers throw bones in a couple of months.
Today helped us get closer to picking a winner by examining some possible scenarios.
The prop bets with the most value are Conor winning a decision and Khabib winning a decision.
I don’t like the “either guy wins a decision” bet because it only pays out at (+260).
Khabib winning a decision is the most likely outcome in my mind and it pays surprisingly high at (+380). The man is a grinder. He wrestles. He pressures you. He controls you. Does he finish you?
Maybe. He has only done it twice in the past 7 fights.
Conor winning a decision? It isn’t likely but at (+865), it doesn’t have to be. This is a huge payout and doesn’t require much risk on your part, so go for it!