The undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov is now UFC lightweight champion after presiding over a challenging win against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 last weekend, and he may be on his way towards one of the largest fights in the company’s history. That fight would obviously be with the ever-polarizing Conor McGregor.
The 29 year old Irishman sent MMA fans, critics and the general public into a frenzy after throwing a metal dolly through a bus Khabib was riding on after media day at UFC 223 last week. McGregor subsequently handed himself into authorities (after it emerged that the police were looking for him) and was charged with two felony counts for assault and criminal mischief.
The Notorious certainly hasn’t rocked the bookies with his antics though, as is evidenced by a string of odds released for a potential future bout with Nurmagomedov. It shouldn’t be surprising that Nurmagomedov opens as the favourite for a potential fight with McGregor due to the fact that he’s undefeated.
While he did outstrike Iaquinta by a gross margin during last week’s bout, the Eagle has received some criticism from the likes of Joe Rogan over his punching, but this certainly hasn’t swayed some of the top online bookmakers. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power currently have Khabib at 4/7 to take down McGregor. Similarly, Betfair have the Eagle at ever so slightly shorter odds of 8/13 to defeat Notorious if a fight does go ahead.
Nurmagomedov, unlike McGregor, will likely return to UFC action in late summer or early fall. This does potentially put him in line for title defenses against McGregor or interim champion Ferguson, but Dana White is yet to comment on which of these two options may come to the fray. Judging from his criticisms of McGregor’s behaviour last week, UFC fans may never see the former occur.
While The Notorious continues to lap up the media circus that has been following him since his money-spinning boxing defeat against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 there has been no indication given - by Conor or the UFC - as to whether he will be returning to the octagon in 2018 or at any time in the future.
Plenty of speculation continues to surround McGregor and Mayweather with another bout rumoured to take place in the octagon instead of the boxing ring. In fact, bookies are already offering odds on this - if you think the speculation is true you can take Royal Panda’s 5/1 odds on a Mayweather win for example.
In light of McGregor’s reckless displays last week it has been made exceedingly clear by Dana White and the UFC that his future at the company is in grave danger. Even more seriously is the fact that McGregor may be served with a temporary or permanent ban from entering the United States due to his charges.
On the books, The Notorious’ criminal mischief charge could warrant up to seven years in prison, although this is highly unlikely. In the event of a guilty plea, the fighter will likely make a bargain to avoid imprisonment. The dolly throwing incident is one of many reasons that the UFC could expel McGregor, but it remains unclear whether the final nail has been hammered into the Dubliners coffin by Dana White.