down cross right results icon premium content video audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo 888sport logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    £20 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £20. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Up to £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join betway, opt in, deposit £10 or more and you will get a 100% matched amount, up to £30 as free bets to split however you like. T&Cs apply. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Deposit by card or paypal only.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code 20FREE and place £5 of bets, you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join 888sport using promo code RACING and when you bet £10, you'll get £30 in free bets PLUS £10 in free bets on any horse racing market. Min deposit £10. First bet minimum odds 1-2. Free bet credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code RP40 and place £10 in bets and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £10 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £10 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    £50 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £50. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply

Conor McGregor in big trouble if Khabib takes him down

Irishman the underdog on UFC return

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces-off with Conor McGregor
1 of 1

UFC lightweight title
BT Sport 1, from 1am Saturday night

It's been almost two years since 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor entered the Octagon when he became the first fighter to simultaneously hold two UFC belts, and no one can accuse him of taking an easy fight on his return as a 6-4 underdog to beat Khabib 'The Eagle' Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas.

McGregor is the biggest star in the UFC's history, featuring in four of their five highest-grossing pay-per-views, and he has proved his combat skills are every bit as good as his superstar status by starching featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 13 seconds before obliterating lightweight king Eddie Alvarez. 

He then accepted $100m to join the circus and fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, leading to him being stripped of his belts due to inactivity, and many thought his MMA career was over as he had no financial incentive to keep fighting. But they were wrong.

McGregor is back to reclaim his lightweight belt, but a new top dog has emerged in his absence and he will need a career-best performance to get it back. 

His opponent is in many ways the opposite to McGregor. While Conor is brash and arrogant Khabib is quiet and humble with a cold, icy glare, and their fighting styles are also like chalk and cheese. 

McGregor is a stand-up striker and possibly the best boxer in the UFC - although he lost to Mayweather it was certainly no disgrace to go ten rounds with the greatest boxer of all time on his debut in the sport. He has incredible timing and movement, and his left hand can put anybody to sleep at any time. 

But Khabib is possibly the best wrestler and grappler in the UFC. He likes to drag his prey down to the mat where he controls them like an anaconda and uses a wide array of ground and pound and submission techniques to break them. 

Growing up in Dagestan, Russia Khabib began wrestling as soon as he could walk into his father's gym, where his unusual training methods included fighting bears.

He became a double world champion at Russian martial art sambo and earned a black belt in judo before embarking on a career in MMA, where he has 26 wins from 26 fights, including ten straight victories in the UFC. 

Not only is Khabib undefeated in MMA, he has never lost a round in his entire career. 

The likely, although not inevitable, conclusion is that while the fight remains standing McGregor has a huge advantage, but if Khabib takes him down the Irishman could be in massive trouble. 

It may play out differently but for the purposes of picking a winner we should not look past the obvious.


Sign up to emails from Racing Post Sport and get all the latest news and tips


The other major factor could be stamina. McGregor is always at his most dangerous in the early stages - only two of his 24 MMA fights have gone past two rounds.

But he has gassed out in the past and he blamed his submission defeat to Nate Diaz on an 'inefficient use of energy', whereas Khabib takes his time to grind down the opposition round after round. 

If McGregor can connect with his left hand on Khabib's chin it may be over in seconds, but the bad news for McGregor fans is that he has faced an elite wrestler before and was taken down with ease. 

In 2015 he faced Chad Mendes and was put on his back repeatedly and beaten up on the ground. And Mendes is much smaller and lacked proper conditioning after accepting the fight at short notice. Khabib is bigger, better and has had a full training camp.

McGregor's mind games have won him fights against the odds before, and it would be no surprise if he goaded Khabib on to a big left hand and turned his lights out.

But Nurmagomedov seems as strong mentally as he is physically and he looked largely unfazed by McGregor's loudmouth antics during fight week, although he will need all of hits wits about him from the first bell if he is to avoid the same fate as Aldo. 

McGregor has much more than a puncher's chance, but if Khabib gets him to the mat all his weapons will be nullified and the longer the fight goes on, the harder it will be to see the underdog emerging victorious. 

McGregor by KO at 15-8 or Khabib by submission at 11-4 are worth considering in the betting, but the Eagle has been the distance six times in his ten-fight UFC career and backing him to win via decision after five rounds at 9-2 looks the best value.

Recommendation 
K Nurmagomedov by decision
1pt 9-2 Betfair, Paddy Power, Sky Bet


Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips


If you are concerned about your gambling and are worried you may have a problem, click here to find advice on how you can receive help


Today's top sports betting stories

Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport

Not only is Khabib undefeated in MMA, he has never lost a round in his entire career
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets