Return of the Mac, Champ Champ, Conor McGregor returns to the octagon for the first time in almost two years this Saturday night to face Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov.
Fight fans last saw McGregor compete in the boxing ring vs. all-time great, Floyd “Money” Mayweather. McGregor has had a busy offseason. Since he last stepped fought for the UFC, The Notorious:
- Was stripped of two UFC titles
- Became a father.
- Lasted 10 rounds against one of the best boxers ever in his professional boxing debut.
- Punched an associate of the Irish Mafia (allegedly).
- Reportedly had a bounty placed on him by the aforementioned mafia.
- Stormed the cage at a Bellator event were got into an altercation with referee Mark Goddard.
- Threw a punch at a Bellator staff member when he tried to re-enter the cage.
- Became BFF’s with Vladimir Putin.
- Threw a dolly through a bus window full of UFC fighters and employees.
- Launched a whiskey company (Proper 12).
- Signed a six-fight deal with the UFC that will position Proper 12 in the octagon of all of his fights.
There’s plenty more McGregor has been in the news for over the past couple of years. As a matter of fact just last week he paid €10,000 to cover a child’s medical bills.
Nurmagomedov, has fought just twice since UFC 205. His first fight took place 13 months later, in December 2017. In that fight, Nurmy won a unanimous decision (UD) over Edson Barboza. This April, we saw The Eagle maul late replacement Al Iaquinta in a 5-round UD to become the UFC Lightweight Champion, which was up for grabs after Tony Ferguson was stripped due to inactivity caused by injuries.
Khabib is undefeated through 26 professional bouts. That isn’t even the most impressive detail. In those 26 fights, Khabib has yet to earn even a split decision. Every one of his 26 wins has come by way of stoppage or unanimous decision. For those that have questioned his resume, his dominance is unparalleled.
UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor
Saturday, October 6th – 10:00pm ET – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Main Event: Nurmagomedov -170, McGregor +145
Conor has faced a who’s who of opponents in his career. We all know what he did to Featherweight G.O.A.T. Jose Aldo. It was his domination of Eddie Alvarez that I found most impressive. Eddie walked into the octagon with a clear game plan. Take Conor down and punish him on the ground. One left from the champ and that game plan went out the window. Alvarez, a true veteran of the sport, looked lost in there with McGregor.
Conor and Eddie had no real beef in the lead-up to their fight. Neither fighter had an ill-will towards the other. Certainly, Eddie had no reason to be emotional to the point of blocking out his coaches and hammer heading his way to a TKO loss, but he did because that’s what Conor does.
Also, Conor is notorious for laying the promo game thick in the lead-up to his fights, but this time it feels different. It feels authentic. Conor appears to despise Khabib. He’s shown zero respect for the Dagestani champion with a stellar wrestling background. Conor was taking real shots that would have caused real consequences for Khabib had he responded to how Conor had hoped. I’m not sure if this says more of Conor’s emotional state or Khabib’s.
This fight will go one of two ways. Conor will catch the hittable Nurmagomedov with a left and put his lights out…or he will be mauled on the ground by the vastly superior wrestler. If Khabib beats the scale and makes the walk to the octagon, I’m betting he beats Conor to retain his title.
Take Khabib Nurmagomedov -170 at UFC 229
The rest of the card features some great fights. Tony Ferguson -360 will destroy the overmatched and overrated Anthony Pettis. Alexander Volkov -176 will defeat the broken Derrick Lewis. Sergio Pettis -145 will defeat Jussier Formiga to win his sixth fight in seven bouts.