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Nurmagomedov vs GSP Odds Analysis

UFC: Nurmagomedov vs GSP

There have been rumors swirling for more than a year about a potential superfight between reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and arguably the greatest of all time, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre. Although Khabib is likely going to fight No. 1 contender Tony Ferguson next, if he gets through that challenge, GSP could be in the near future.

These rumors appear to be coming to a head and online sportsbook Bovada has released odds for this bout with the current champ, Nurmagomedov, coming in as a sizable -400 favorite and the former two-division champ, GSP, coming back at +300.

Odds Analysis

This line doesn’t make any sense to me. Yes, Nurmagomedov has been a heavy favorite in each of his last 10 fights with an average line of -412.5, so that makes sense. However, he will be competing against one of the best ever in Georges St-Pierre, who hasn’t suffered a loss since 2007, a span of 13 fights. In his last appearance, he won the middleweight title, and he’s now fighting at lightweight! GSP hasn’t been an underdog since he was a +115 dog in a rematch with Matt Hughes at UFC 65 in 2006, a bout he won via second-round knockout.

How Will This Fight Play Out?

Nurmagomedov’s main attack is his grappling when he gets his hands on his opponents, drags them to the floor and smashes them. The Russia native has an aggressive ground and pound, looking for the finish in that manner, or will take advantage of a submission if it arises. His striking continues to improve, but he has been hurt a few times in striking exchanges. The Eagle has outstanding conditioning that allows him to bring the fight to the canvas late in the fight and still smash his foes.

As for the Canadian, St-Pierre, he also is an outstanding wrestler but also has strong striking. Rush had been the welterweight champion for six years, defending the belt 10 times, before taking four years off and returning to win the middleweight belt by submitting Michael Bisping in 2017. He has a tremendous jab that sets up heavier strikes or his double-leg takedown and he averages 4.16 takedowns per 15 minutes.

GSP will be 39 in May 2020, which could be a bit of a concern as Khabib doesn’t turn 32 until September. Age aside, though, the only fight in which Nurmagomedov was taken down more than his opponent was against Gleison Tibau in 2012 in a very close unanimous-decision victory. If this remains a striking match, the edge has to go to St-Pierre, but it will be very interesting to see if one can impose his wrestling skill over the other.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre Betting Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov-400
Georges St-Pierre+300

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada