Opening Odds Favor McGregor Over Gaethje After Rumors Swirl of Potential Fight

Conor McGregor staring
Conor McGregor opened as a -180 betting favorite over Justin Gaethje. Photo @BBCSport (Twitter).
  • Conor McGregor has said he will fight three times in 2020
  • Rumors suggest Justin Gaethje will be his next opponent
  • See the opening odds for a potential McGregor vs. Gaethje fight and analysis of the best early value 

In late 2019, Conor McGregor said he would be returning in 2020 and making it a year to remember. He said he wanted to fight three times, with the third being for the lightweight title, presumably in a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

His first fight in January went as planned as he knocked out Donald Cerrone in less than a minute. His second fight has not been booked.

Following the Cerrone win, Jorge Masvidal was the favorite to be McGregor’s next opponent. But he is expected to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. Now, the talk is that the Irishman will battle Justin Gaethje in a number-one contender bout at lightweight.

With that, odds have opened for a potential McGregor-Gaethje fight.

Conor McGregor vs. Justin Gaethje Odds

Fighter Odds at BetOnline
Conor McGregor -180
Justin Gaethje +155

Odds taken March 18.

Will This Fight Happen?

With the sports world, including the UFC, being in lockdown due to COVID-19, and no real time-frame for a return, it is questionable whether McGregor vs Gaethje will transpire.

Owen Roddy, McGregor’s striking coach, recently came out and said the plan is for the Irishman to return July 11 and he mentioned Gaethje by name as a possible opponent. Nurmagomedov has also said that, in order for McGregor to get a rematch with him, he needs to fight and beat Gaethje.

So as long as coronavirus doesn’t cancel sports entirely, McGregor vs Gaethje will probably wind up taking place.

I’ve spoken to some fighters at SBG Ireland, the gym McGregor trains at, and they said he is training as if he has a fight coming up. I think that July 11 date, which is International Fight Week, is when he is targeting to return. If he does return that day it will be against Gaethje.

How Will The Odds Change?

Conor McGregor is always someone the public bets heavy on. He is a fan-favorite and someone that gets a lot of love from during fight week when the Irish arrive to support him. Gaethje, meanwhile, is not a known commodity, which will lead to fewer bets on him.

However, early on, I think McGregor being a -180 favorite is set correctly. It will lead to sportsbooks getting two-way action. Casual fans (and the Irish) will bet McGregor, while the hardcore fans will bet on Gaethje, who many think will be able to KO McGregor.

Regardless, I believe the odds will stay around the same until fight week when the public money will push Conor McGregor past the -200 mark.

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