To call the first fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor an out-of-control tornado of violence would be a massive understatement. What was billed as the biggest fight in the sport’s history, which Khabib won in dominating fashion, concluded with a mini-riot that undoubtedly overshadowed the outcome of the fight.
The melee, which some are calling the most embarrassing moment in the UFC’s history, has seemed to spark a tremendous amount of interest in a rematch. As a result, odds are on the board for Khabib vs McGregor II, with Nurmagomedov at -275 and McGregor coming back at +215.
The odds for the first fight closed with Khabib at -170 and McGregor at +140, so this seems like a logical jump in the odds. To his credit, McGregor did better to defend Khabib’s grappling than any of the champ’s recent opponents, but Nurmagomedov’s suffocating style became too much four rounds in, leading to the submission.
After originally opening at +160 for the first fight, it was widely assumed that McGregor’s odds would plummet much closer to EVEN, but that obviously wasn’t the case. With that said, McGregor and his one-punch knockout ability will be too much for some bettors to pass up at +215. This would easily be the biggest underdog he’s ever been in his professional MMA career.
Before betting on McGregor, though, consider that he had Khabib right where he wanted him for a large portion of the third round — on the feet, exchanging strikes — but was unable to capitalize. Conor won the round but didn’t dominate the way he should have. As good as McGregor is, it’s possible that he simply doesn’t have the skill set to defeat Khabib, whose record now stands at 27-0.
When will Khabib vs McGregor II take place?
A rematch is far from a lock to take place with the most notable roadblock being a possible suspension for Nurmagomedov from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for inciting the brouhaha at the conclusion of the fight. Some MMA journalists are predicting a suspension in the one-year range, which could also result in Khabib being stripped of the title due to inactivity. In case you’re wondering, he would only be suspended in Nevada, but the UFC honors that suspension anywhere, meaning he won’t be eligible to compete.
McGregor is already calling for a rematch on social media and has been in touch with UFC president Dana White to set up another fight. As you may recall, Conor was insistent on an immediate rematch with Nate Diaz following his loss in their first fight, but it’s a little different this time around due to a looming suspension and the presence of several other contenders who are deserving of a title shot, most notably Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier.
Suspension or not, McGregor has other scores to settle and a trilogy match with Diaz might make the most sense. Either way, the rematch with Khabib would undoubtedly be the biggest fight in UFC history — something that seems to be the case whenever McGregor steps foot into the Octagon.