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Khabib vs McGregor: Tough test for The Notorious on return

Khabib vs McGregor Preview and Predictions

Conor McGregor believes he will put in a performance this weekend to show he is the best UFC fighter on the planet.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

Fight night information

When is it? Sunday 7th October

What time does it start? 03:00

Where is it taking place? Las Vegas

Which channel is it on? BT Sport 1

The brash Irishman returns after a near two-year absence from the octagon to take on the person who succeeded him as UFC lightweight champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov.

An incident in April, in which McGregor threw a handtruck at the window of a bus containing several rival fighters, including Khabib, ramped up the ill-feeling between the pair.

They will get the opportunity to settle their differences at UFC 229 in Las Vegas this weekend, with Khabib the favourite with BetStars at 4/7.

McGregor, though, rated at 6/4 in the UFC 229 odds to reclaim his belt, told the UFC's official website: "I'm going to go in, smack him hard, rattle his head, and raise that gold once again.

"I look forward to coming back out, proving once again that I am the pound-for-pound, number one fighter on the planet."

McGregor's comeback comes a little over a year after a foray into boxing, in which his only professional bout saw him lose to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in a lucrative showdown.

The 30-year-old is something of a striking specialist in mixed martial arts, with 18 of his 21 professional victories coming by way of knockout, and he is 7/4 in the Khabib vs McGregor odds to make it number 19 against the Russian.

However, the Dubliner believes his all-round qualities are being underestimated against an opponent who holds the upper hand when it comes to wrestling ability and is 5/2 to force a submission.

McGregor added: "I put many of my tools into the toolbox, and I left them there when I stepped into that boxing ring, so I think many people forget the skills I possess."

Khabib won the vacant 155lb title days after it was stripped from McGregor at UFC 223 by beating late replacement Al Iaquinta in Brooklyn in April. His handlers believes it is nigh-on impossible to prepare to face him.

Khabib's wrestling coach Carolyn Wester said: "Khabib has an ability to move across the mat in a way that somebody who hasn't done that for 10-12 years of their life can pick up.

"You can watch it, you can analyse, you can endeavour to prepare for it, but to actually be able to access everything Khabib has in his head and his skill set and experience, and prepare for each of those explosive movements, is almost impossible from a wrestling perspective."

Keeping his opponent upright will be the key for McGregor but after so long out of the octagon, the value in the Khabib vs McGregor betting is with Khabib to win by submission.

For punters considering in play betting on the Khalib vs McGregor fight, The Notorious will look to take control early. The longer the fight goes on, the more his hopes will fade.

Khabib vs McGregor Knockout Offer Losing Round Betting stakes refunded up to £20 as a Free Bet if Khabib Nurmagomedov beats Conor McGregor by KO, TKO or DQ. Terms apply.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in UFC