He’s the biggest star in the UFC and, on November 12, Ireland’s Conor McGregor will be fighting for a place in the history books as he challenges Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title. With the featherweight championship belt already around his waist, McGregor has shown he can conquer one weight division. However, when you’re as brash, bold and confident as McGregor, that’s simply not enough.
Ever since the first UFC event was held back in 1993, no fighter has ever held world title belts in two weight classes at the same time. BJ Penn came close to achieving it once, but even someone of his calibre couldn’t quite do it. McGregor, however, is a different animal and at UFC 205 he has the chance to go down in history as the first UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously and, moreover, one of the greatest athletes the sport has ever known.
Alvarez to Get in McGregor’s Face
Standing in his way, however, is a man with all the tools to beat someone like McGregor. Alvarez is a gritty, in-your-face wrestler who enjoys pinning opponents against the cage and, metaphorically, rattling their cages. While McGregor might have described his opponent’s stand-up skills as rudimentary at best, there’s no doubt Alvarez can strike. In fact, his one-two low kick combinations helped secure him numerous victories in both Dream and Bellator.
However, despite his hard-nosed style and will to win, Alvarez is currently the underdog in the minds of many fans, pundits and bookmakers. Indeed, if you look through today’s betting tips at Betway, the current weight of opinion is firmly behind Mr. McGregor ahead of UFC 205. After assessing the relative merits of each fighter, Betway’s odds experts have set the Irishman’s win line at 8/13 while Alvarez is pegged at 13/10.
While the odds might not tell the full story in terms of the skill differential between the two fighters, the money is certainly flooding in for McGregor at this point. However, when you listen to those who know what it’s like to fight in the UFC, the numbers aren’t as far apart. Talking to MMA news site MMAJunkie, the likes of Stefan Struve, Tamdan McRory and Ovince Saint Preux are all tipping Alvarez. On the other side of the fence, Louis Smolka, Leon Edwards and Brad Pickett are all leaning towards McGregor.
Will the Odds Matter on November 12?
Much like the fighters, the general public is also split when it comes to picking a winner at UFC 205. Twitter support for both fighters can be seen online every day, which suggests that we’ll be in for a back-and-forth fight on November 12. Of course, if McGregor can land one of his trademark straight lefts to the jaw of Alvarez then it could all be over very quickly. But, with Mark Henry shouting out instructions to Alvarez, it’s unlikely the American will get blindsided in the same way as Jose Aldo did.
As is the case when any two fighters step into the octagon, anything can happen and on this occasion it just might. If the stars align for McGregor and the history books open up then he could walk away with two belts, a ton of money and the world at his feet after a knockout win. However, if the MMA gods have a different plan, then we could see a five-round, 25-minute slugfest where the man with the biggest heart comes out on top.
One thing’s for sure, UFC 205’s main event promises to be one for the ages, regardless of who you bet your money on, where your loyalties lie or who comes out on top.