Conor McGregor continues to chase history as he challenges Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight title at the main event of UFC 205.
Currently the UFC’s 145-pound kingpin, McGregor hopes to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two world titles at the same time. To do that, he has to take out the tough and durable Philly native in Alvarez on Saturday, November 12th.
Six in A Row
For the sixth fight in a row, McGregor opened as the betting favorite. He’s lost just once during that period and that was to Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
Against Alvarez, the Irishman opened at -125 against the Underground King who was initially pegged at -105. Now that the fight is barely a week away, McGregor’s numbers have improved although not by much. The Irishman is walking the lines at the -145 to -160 range. Alvarez, meanwhile, has fallen back +120 to +133 although those odds still say this one’s nearly a pick’em fight.
Not Going The Distance
As for the fight, the oddsmakers have installed a line of -260 for the fight not going the distance and a +200 it goes to a decision. Eighteen of McGregor’s 20 wins have been by stoppage and 17 of those by knockout. On the other hand, Alvarez has 15 knockouts and 7 submissions in 28 total wins. Because of this, the oddsmakers have installed a line of -260 for the fight not going the distance and a +200 it goes to a decision.
Conor McGregor’s left hand is legendary. Even Alvarez admits that it’s his main weapon. But McGregor isn’t just a one-armed bandit. He’s sensational on his feet. Notorious has power, timing and accuracy. Eddie Alvarez himself is an excellent boxer and that makes this an exciting striking affair. But McGregor’s five inch reach advantage should be the difference here.
In his seven UFC fights prior to Nate Diaz, he had the reach advantage. He won all of those bouts.
No Wrestling Disadvantage
McGregor’s perceived weakness is his ground game. But if you take a look at his second bout with the bigger Nate Diaz, the Irishman stuffed 6 of 7 takedown attempts. Many people also forget that during his 2013 bout with Max Holloway, Mystic Mac nailed down 4 of 5 takedown attempts. Fans betting on Alvarez point to his wrestling as his advantage. After all, Alvarez beat Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis by dragging the fight to the ground. But if you take a look at the stats, Alvarez has landed only 29% of his total takedowns in 4 UFC bouts. That’s not gonna be good enough.
Take away McGregor’s advantages, Eddie Alvarez is a solid fighter coming off a first round KO over Rafael Dos Anjos. That’s impressive. However, McGregor not only is the better technical striker, he’s also much longer. Once he feels Conor’s power, he will try to bring the fight to the ground. McGregor’s 70% takedown defense will hold and eventually, Alvarez will either get knocked out in the first 8 minutes or have his face re-arranged after 5 rounds as McGregor promised.
One way or another, the bet is Conor McGregor this weekend, and history awaits.