Conor McGregor is one of the best MMA fighters of all time and easily the most famous one alive today. With a 17-1 record in his last 18 fights, McGregor will try to pick up another legacy-building win when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 229.
The 30-year-old McGregor’s only loss since 2010 came when he went up in weight class to face Nate Diaz on just 13 days notice. Given more time to prepare for their rematch, McGregor avenged that loss with a win over Diaz in a five-round classic at UFC 202.
Less than three months after that fight, the then-UFC Featherweight Champion faced Eddie Alverez at UFC 205 for the UFC Lightweight Championship and won, becoming the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles at the same time.
McGregor relinquished both of these titles to take a hiatus from the UFC during which he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match. Conor McGregor lost that match, but he put on a surprisingly entertaining fight and earned a reported $30 million payout. There were rumors that this big payday could lead to McGregor’s retirement from fighting, but he makes his return with a splash against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov opened as a -170 favorite to win this fight, but has slipped to -155. While McGregor has been away, Nurmagomedov has picked up two convincing wins over Edson Barboza and Al Iaquinta. The win over Iaquinta was for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship that McGregor is hoping to reclaim. Nurmagomedov is a perfect 26-0 as an MMA professional including a 10-0 record in the UFC.
This is a fight that fans have been clamoring for, and one that is tough to cap due to how dominant both men have looked in the past and how different their styles are. McGregor is a far superior striker that has earned 18 of his 21 victories by way of knockout. Nurmagomedov is an elite grappler that has overwhelmed opponents of all styles over his career.
Neither of these men have anything to prove, but the one that wins will certainly stake his claim as the best lightweight fighter in the world.
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