This weekend’s UFC 229 card from Las Vegas marks the much anticipated return of Conor McGregor, as the Irishman aims to once again achieve what no man has done before and defeat lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Inevitably the event has lead to overwhelming excitement from the betting sector, with sports fans clamouring to pick a winner of the blockbuster main event.
Oddschecker have revealed that when examining the numbers in the week leading up to this Saturday’s fight, they’re seeing 78% more page views this week (Sun-Weds), than they did for McGregor’s last historic UFC contest, which was his clash against former welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.
The firm also revealed that the actual amount of money bet on this weekend’s fight has also taking a significant surge, detailing that to compare the same time period, there’s been an increase of 87% in actual bets placed on the fight.
Furthermore, in spite of such a long lay off, McGregor is still attracting a plethora of late punting attention, prior to this week, Nurmagomedov was both the bookies’ pick and the punters’, however punters are changing their tune and showing support for the Irish fighter.
This week alone, the ‘Notorious One’ has accounted for 69% of bets, substantially more than he accrued in the previous weeks.
It’s believed the wave of support is due to the press conference held between him and his Russian counterpart, with a flurry of bets being placed immediately afterwards.
Only 26% of bets this week have been placed on Nurmagomedov winning the contest, with the remainder placed on the title bout finishing as a draw.
If the line stays the same, this will be the second time McGregor enters the octagon as an underdog, after facing Dustin Poirier as an odds-against shot.
Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson commented on the market swing: “There’s been a wave of money coming in for Conor McGregor this week, with punters across the country more than happy to back the Irishman at underdog prices.
“Almost 70% of all bets have been placed on the 30-year-old to emerge victorious against the undefeated Russian grappler, signifying a change in support between the pair.
“However, bookies are remaining staunch on their decision to call Khabib the favourite, although you can expect McGregor’s odds to shorten as we edge closer to fight night.”