UFC 205 in New York went from “very good” to “can’t miss at any cost” with just one signature: Conor McGregor’s. The featherweight champion – and the promotion’s biggest superstar – has been officially booked to face lightweight titleholder Eddie Alvarez in a champion vs champion superfight.
To put it shortly: Conor McGregor has the opportunity to become the first man to simultaneously to hold two UFC titles, in the UFC’s first-ever event at the legendary Madison Square Garden.
With a fight of this magnitude on a card of historical importance, oddsmakers were quick to release fight odds for the main event at Madison Square Garden. As expected, BookMaker.eu opened with the Irishman as the favorite against the Philly native.
UFC 205 Odds: Madison Square Garden – Nov 12
Conor McGregor (-150) vs Eddie Alvarez (+120)
This Might Be As Cheap As McGregor Gets
With the current money lines, you’d have to bet $150 to win $100 on McGregor – which is actually a very decent return. Considering how he adapted and evolved against Nate Diaz, it’s obvious “Notorious” is much more than just the headhunter many figured him for. But Alvarez is one of the most experienced lightweights in the world, and his well-rounded skillset deserves serious consideration from oddsmakers.
Still, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the UFC betting lines on McGregor rise closer to -200 in the coming weeks. Nothing sways betting opinion more than legit knockout power, and McGregor’s ability to drop opponents will garner a lot of bets. If you were planning to put stacks on Mystic Mac, now would be the time to do it – before he gets more expensive.
What Can We Expect From This Matchup?
Whether you love or hate the polarizing McGregor, you cannot deny that the man consistently puts on wildly entertaining fights. Seven of his nine octagon appearances have ended in stoppages, and all of them featured moments where Notorious rocked his opponents with massive punches.
What’s more, Diaz forced him to evolve – technically and mentally. For his most recent scrap with Nate, McGregor tailored an opponent-specific game plan for the first time ever – and he stuck to the script instead of getting baited emotionally. On top of that, he proved that he could dig deep during the championship rounds and come out on top.
That’s the kind of necessary experience he’ll need against Alvarez, a former Bellator Champion with a decorated career fighting in nearly every major international MMA organization.
Can Eddie Alvarez Get His Mojo Back?
Though Alvarez has built his reputation with wild brawls – with thrilling Fight of the Year performances in 2008 and 2011 – the UFC version of Alvarez is much more patient and conservative.
After losing a gritty standup battle to Donald Cerrone in his UFC debut, Alvarez went back to his wrestling roots to grind out back-to-back split decisions over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. Those were not fun bouts to watch. Against Pettis, many were expecting a striking affair between two elite strikers, but instead were forced to watch three straight rounds of Alvarez grinding “Showtime” into the cage and dragging him down to the mat.
Though Alvarez regained some of his boxing mojo with a stunning first-round KO of Rafael dos Anjos to win the belt, the reality is that he’ll likely follow the same blueprint he did against Pettis. Taking away McGregor’s striking is his best path to victory. Whether he can takedown the Irishman is another matter.
The Early UFC Odds Pick
At this point, getting -150 Conor McGregor odds is a fantastic value. His punching power is just unfair at lighter weight classes – he knocked down the notoriously durable Nate Diaz three times in a welterweight contest. Alvarez is not a big 155 pounder, so he’s going to have a lot of difficulty taking this fight to the mat to exact his wrestling. At some point in a five round fight, I’d bet that McGregor’s deadly straight right cross is going to find Alvarez’ chin with explosive results.
McGregor TKO Alvarez, R3
For more UFC news and odds, check out New UFC Odds for Fall 2016’s Biggest Fights