Colorado UFC bettors will observe a rare spectacle concerning Conor McGregor.
For the first time in six years, he’s not the favorite.
The fighter who transcends the sport is a slight underdog for Saturday’s UFC 264 completion of his trilogy with Dustin Poirier from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Results reflect McGregor’s stunning January loss to Poirier as a -330 DraftKings chalk.
McGregor had been expected to repeat his 2014 triumph over Poirier.
For the rubber match, UFC betting in Colorado initially placed McGregor, known as “Notorious” as high as +108 at DraftKings. Even though he settled into -103 in mid-week, he’s still the underdog as Poirier has drifted between -120 and -130.
The last time McGregor wasn’t the betting favorite was a 2015 battle against Jose Aldo, which he captured in the first round. He was -105 and Aldo was -125. These odds are similar.
Here’s the card with DraftKings Colorado sportsbook betting odds as of Wednesday afternoon. Odds subject to change:
UFC 264 main card odds
Dustin Poirier -125 vs Conor McGregor -103
Stephen Thompson -157 vs Gilbert Burns +126
Tai Tuivassa -143 vs Greg Hardy +115
Irene Aldana -120 vs Yana Kunitskaya -105
Sean O’Malley -835 vs Kris Moutinho +525
Jennifer Maia -200 vs Jessica Eye +162
Max Griffin -190 vs Carlos Griffin +150
Michael Pereira -162 vs Niki Price +130
Ilia Topuria -250 vs Ryan Hall +195
Driscus DuPlessis -118 vs Trevin Giles -106
UFC 264 overview
Will McGregor, who turns 33 on July 14, retire if he loses here? He’s done practically everything that can be accomplished in MMA.
How hungry is he?
“Notorious,” the human cash register, has headlined five of the six highest selling UFC pay-per-view events and set an MMA record along with Khabib Nurmagomedov for 2.4 million buys at UFC 229 in 2018.
In 2017, he helped generate 4.3 million buys in losing a boxing match to legendary Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
“This fight is going to do big business,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayColorado.com. “It’s going to do championship-fight numbers.
“First, the bettors like the fight in which you have good prices on both guys. You don’t have to lay a lot of juice.”
Cat-and-Mouse betting odds
Indeed, bettors have enjoyed the cat-and-mouse betting odds leading up to the fight. Whenever McGregor’s line drifts into plus numbers, he takes so much money that the line moves down.
This, conversely, brings Poirier into a range like -120, far more preferable than -135. It’s the difference between laying 6-5 odds or nearly 7-5. That’s a big distinction, especially for Colorado UFC bettors making a heavy bet.
One major overview concerns McGregor’s market value. Although he has towered above the sport in recent years, there are whispers that “he’s made his money” and may retire if he loses. A bad setback would at least change him from blockbuster headliner to just another good fighter.
“McGregor is a great fighter and a popular guy and he needs this fight,” Avello noted. “He is the underdog, yes, but he’s going to grab a lot of money. We have one prop up regarding whether the fight will last more than 60 seconds. One hundred percent of the money is on the ‘no’ and we see support for McGregor in bets like him winning by a KO/TKO.”
Avello said that McGregor bettors may like the timing of this fight. It occurs six months after the last one.
“You remember when McGregor lost to Nate Diaz (March 2016) and scheduled the rematch for a few months later (August),” he said. “And McGregor won that. This scheduling may work out for him.”
McGregor is 3-3 in the last six MMA fights. His biggest accomplishments are now in the rear-view mirror, although they are impressive.
Watch for promos and odds boosts at the major Colorado online sportsbooks. DraftKings and FanDuel have been, literally, “Notorious” for offering signup inducements and improved betting odds prior to McGregor fights.
The offers are starting to come. DraftKings just issued an odds boost to +150 on either fighter. Go to the promo section and Opt In.
Picking one outcome, a victory, pays close to even money with each fighter. One option is to load up on either combatant, trying for an even-money-type score.
The moneyline in a competitive fight is a good route for many bettors. It’s more beneficial than selecting the right winner, but throwing the money away in unsuccessful props.
Larger payouts are available, but require specific outcomes.
FanDuel Colorado sportsbook has a nice “How the Fight Will End” prop.
It has a KO/TKO at -260, a points verdict at +320 and a submission at +650.
Methods of victory at FanDuel
DraftKings double result prop bet
Here’s a prop based on a double result, via DraftKings.
Will McGregor win in over 2.5 rounds? Yes is +375, no is -675.
Will he win in under 2.5 rounds? Yes is -175, no is -250.
Poirier returns +240 and -360 for separate props on him obtaining a victory both inside of 2.5 rounds and above 2.5 rounds.
McGregor vs Poirier fight history
McGregor stopped Poirier with a sudden burst in their 2014 encounter.
Poirier returned the favor in January.
He softened McGregor with several sharp leg kicks in the second round. That slowed McGregor’s movement and he looked spent when Poirier began unloading on him halfway through the second round.
The victory was a definitive multi-punch burst for Poirier. That’s what fuels optimism for him winning again.
The co-main event is a good betting fight, too.
Moneyline odds are attractive on Thompson and Burns. Thompson is favored despite being ranked fourth by the UFC in the welterweight division compared to second for Burns.
Burns was stopped in his last fight by division champion Kamaru Usman in February.
UFC 264 viewing info
What: UFC 264, “McGregor vs Poirier 3”
When: Saturday, 6 p.m. MST prelims; 8 p.m. main card
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Watch: Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+; main card on ESPN+