UFC 229 – The World is Watching
It is time! UFC 229 is the MMA event fight enthusiasts around the world have been waiting for, the wait is soon over! This highly anticipated MMA event takes place on October 6th, 2018, in the T-Mobile Arena (Paradise, Nevada, USA)! The return of the notorious Conor McGregor is going to be a clash of giants and will leave one as champion! Will it be the undefeated and reigning lightweight champion, Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov or will the belt once again travel back home with the “Notorious” Conor McGregor? The greatest fight in UFC history is almost upon us and we invite you to take a closer look at this sensational event with us here at ScandiBet!
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Why don’t we start by getting to know the two athletes a bit better?
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
Khabib was born on the 20th of September 1988 in the mountainous region of Tsumadinsky, Russia, right in between the Black and the Caspian Sea, the “Crazy Mountains” as he calls home himself. His passion for martial arts began with wrestling when he was very young. He later moved on to Judo, then the Russian martial art of Sambo, before devoting himself to MMA. Past merits include becoming a world champion in Combat Sambo twice, and a Judo black belt. Within MMA he holds the longest unbeaten streak in the sport’s history with 26 fights. He is also the first Russian and the first Muslim to ever win a UFC title, one that he of course still holds. In the octagon he is better known as “The Eagle”.
“Notorious” Conor McGregor
This Irishman doesn’t really need an introduction, but since we believe in equality we will give him one anyway. Conor McGregor was born on the 14th of July 1988 in Dublin, Ireland. Conor has a background in boxing, but since 2006 he has devoted his time to MMA. He started making a real name for himself in Cage Warriors, where he held both the Featherweight and Lightweight title simultaneously, a feat he of course would repeat later in the UFC. He is considered the biggest star of the sport, and after taking a 2-year break from the UFC to participate in his highly anticipated boxing fight vs Floyd “Money” Mayweather, The Notorious is now ready to return to the octagon.
Lead-up to the fight
The upcoming fight is easily one of the most anticipated showdowns in the history of the sport and there’s good reason for it. With Conor McGregor returning to the UFC after such a long break and all the attention that was on his bout with Mayweather, it’s easy to understand why so many are eager to see him back in the octagon. And when his opponent is an undefeated and intimidating Russian who currently holds McGregor’s old belt… well the storyline is more or less perfect. To add to the drama, it’s also worth mentioning the attack Conor McGregor helped carry out earlier this year on a bus containing several UFC fighters including, yep, you guessed it; Khabib Nurmagomedov. This resulted in McGregor being forced to show up in court and plead guilty. He avoided prison and a criminal record, but the incident did little good for the relationship between the Irishman and the Russian.
20th of September is the time for the UFC 229 press conference in New York City that will include the two fighters and UFC president, Dana White. The fans are expecting a show and judging by former press conferences with McGregor, we’d say their prayers will be heard. As the fight edges closer, we can expect several teasers both from the UFC and from the fighters themselves, with footage of training sessions and wars of words likely to occur on several occasions. The next event to look forward to for UFC fans will then be the weigh-in, in which more drama is likely to pan out. Shortly after, the fight itself will take place on the evening of the 6th of October (US time) in the famous T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In other words; we’ve got some exciting weeks ahead of us.
The actual fight
Many experts have had their go at analyzing how this fight could end, but it’s not by any means an easy task. We are dealing with two absolute professionals who know the game well and will do their best to prepare for any possible approach from their opponent. Not much has leaked from the respective training camps either, which makes it hard to assess how either of them are doing. The best we can do is to look at previous fights and try to paint a picture of how the fight could look.
As we know, Khabib is a good all-rounder in the cage, although he is without a doubt far more comfortable on the ground. Recent fights do point to him having put more focus on improving his standing game too, especially his boxing, something that of course is vital going into a fight with McGregor. We can nevertheless say for sure that Khabib will be looking to get this fight to the ground at any chance that comes up. One of his biggest advantages against McGregor will be his great stamina and ability to handle 5 rounds without giving himself away.
We all know what McGregor stands for, but as he enters the octagon for the first time in nearly 2 years it’s hard to say what exactly he could bring to the table. The element of surprise has always been one he holds dear and it is likely to be an important factor on the 6th of October too. The Notorious will be doing what he can to keep the fight standing as he is likely to stand little to no chance if he goes down. He will need all his takedown defense and grappling skills in order to avoid dangerous situations against Khabib. The limited footage from McGregor’s training camp does indeed show him working hard on this, especially the takedown defenses. As long the fight remains standing, McGregor is the clear favorite.
Ahead of this fight we have a pretty strong intuition that we have seen most of what Khabib has, we know more or less how good he is. With McGregor we feel that he hasn’t yet had to show us all he’s got, we still don’t know all he is capable of and just how good he actually is.
As mentioned, McGregor will be in very big trouble if the fight goes to the ground and this has made Khabib the favorite in many people’s books, quite simply because the Russian will have many opportunities to land takedowns if he plays his cards right and stays out of trouble.
On the other hand, Khabib has several clear disadvantages in this fight. One of them is his constant struggle in the center of the octagon, he is very often dependent on the cage walls to make something happen. Anyone who has watched McGregor will know about his ability to control where the fight takes place, and also the distance between himself and his opponent. This means that McGregor could mostly stay out of dangerous positions if he wants to. Along with this, we have seen Khabib becoming highly uncomfortable if he gets his back up against the fence, which is something McGregor is an expert at catalyzing, and he will be putting Khabib in his weak areas as often as possible.
Another great advantage McGregor has, is of course the boxing. He will be hoping that Khabib feels a little too confident in his improved stand-up game and exposes himself. McGregor’s counters are lethal, and it could just take one single mistake from Khabib before he goes to the ground, something Jose Aldo is a living proof of. Recent fights have shown that Khabib has grown especially fond of his lead uppercut, an efficient weapon if it lands, but it also leaves him wide open -this is something McGregor is sure to be on the lookout for. The perfect timing of his left hand could make all the difference and end the fight in seconds.
However, if McGregor is to have any chance at winning this, he will have to be efficient and quick. He is very likely to control the fight in the 1st round and this is when he needs to capitalize on any chance he gets, if the fight goes into the 2nd and even the 3rd round, McGregor will have little left to come up with.
One last but important aspect to take into consideration ahead of the fight is the mental one. The abovementioned press conference, war of words and anything else that might come up, could have a deciding effect. Conor McGregor loves to get into his opponents’ heads and with his passionate and loud fans, it’s easy for him to create an overwhelming feeling for whoever he is up against. However, Khabib doesn’t seem to be the type to be affected very much by mind games and will be paying as little attention to McGregor’s attempts as possible. But as the actual fight gets underway the psychological warfare will continue, and McGregor’s tendency to throw a new technique early in his fights to confuse the opponent could be the only trick he needs to throw Khabib off track. Whatever happens, it’s going to be worth watching!
As mentioned, this fight is extremely hard to predict, and with that knowledge we’re not even going to try to forecast a winner. All we can say is that we have an incredible bout ahead of us that could end in many different ways and small factors are likely to make all the difference. But maybe you know something we don’t or have a strong feeling as to who the champion will be, you might even just want to show confidence in your favorite fighter. No matter your reasons, if you got the courage to try and predict the outcome, ScandiBet has the most badass odds on the market! On the 6th of October, history will be made, and we hope you are as excited as us to witness it!