Conor McGregor has opened as a betting favorite against Michael Chandler.
“The Notorious” announced that he would return to face “Iron” Mike as a part of International Fight Week on June 29, marking a return to the sport after almost three years away.
The former UFC double-champion opened as a -150 favorite over Chandler, who according to BetOnline, sat at +130. This means $100 on McGregor would net $50, or $130 for Chandler.
After some reasonable adjustment, the odds now resemble a pick’em, with McGregor as a mild favorite:
- Michael Chandler: +100 (1/1)
- Conor McGregor: -120 (5/6)
Fans are rightly baffled by the odds, as McGregor has not only been away from the sport for an extended time, he also exited on a two-fight losing streak, going 1-4 in his last five bouts. But the bookies usually know best, and there are several factors which could give McGregor the benefit in this bout.
First of all, the fight is at middleweight, and — fortunately for McGregor — he isn’t fighting a natural middleweight such as Israel Adesanya or Robert Whittaker. McGregor is a natural lightweight, and so is Chandler, but Chandler is considerably smaller than his Irish foe.
The added mass for both men brings into question cardio, speed and reactivity. It’s also worth noting that neither man will have to make an extreme weight cut. Chandler has revealed he is bulking for this matchup — it’s likely McGregor is already walking around above 185 lbs.
For a lightweight wrestler such as Chandler, who typically fades after the first round of action, it’s easy to see how the added mass might be a detriment to his performance against McGregor.
Stay tuned. The fight needs to happen first — and to be officially announced by the UFC themselves.
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
Contact Mathew via Twitter or through [email protected]