UFC Betting Guide. By Jake Nichols. Sports betting is the perfect companion to watching UFC fights due to the thrilling nature of mixed martial arts. Whereas betting on basketball, hockey, football, and soccer can be exciting, these popular team sports simply cannot provide the same adrenaline rush as UFC betting.
The highly anticipated UFC 246 takes place on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The main event has former two-division champion Conor McGregor taking on Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone in welterweight action.
When MMA fans get a great fight like this, there are certainly plenty of bets to be made. Let's take a look at some of them.
As of Jan. 16, online sportsbook Bovada has McGregor as a heavy favorite. McGregor comes in at -325, meaning you'd need to wager $325 to win $100, and Cerrone comes in at +250, meaning if you bet $100, you'd net $250.
The biggest star in the sport, McGregor (21-4), returns after losing by fourth-round submission to current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018.
Since then, the 31-year-old has done all of his fighting outside the famed octagon, beating up an older gentleman in an Irish bar and getting arrested for smashing a cell phone outside a nightclub in Miami. Both of those cases have been settled.
Cerrone (36-13) enters the bout with the most wins in UFC history (23) and the most finishes (16). In his first run at welterweight from February 2016 to November 2018, 'Cowboy' went 6-4 with all of the wins coming by stoppage.
Wanting to make one more run at a world title, Cerrone dropped back to lightweight and went 2-2, losing the last two fights to Tony Ferguson and, most recently, Justin Gaethje by first-round TKO in September.
Bingo spin wheel. An intriguing prop bet is the fight not getting out of the first round, as it's +145. Four of Cerrone's last eight tilts have ended inside the opening round, and 15 of McGregor's 25 career fights have ended in the first five minutes.
The odds show how people feel about Cerrone's chances of beating McGregor. The knock on Cerrone has been when it's come to being in a marquee spot, he fails to deliver, with losses to then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, Tony Ferguson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis and Gaethje. And you don't get any bigger than locking horns against the Irishman.
One of the critical advantages Cerrone has is that he's been the more active of the two. Since the last time McGregor's competed, 'Cowboy' has fought five times. Staying active is significant because it allows a fighter to improve in the gym with each passing fight camp, as MMA is an ever-evolving sport. The other is UFC 246 will be bout No. 11 at 170 pounds while it will only be the third time McGregor is at the weight class.
Cerrone has excellent striking, highlighted by his explosive leg kicks, and possesses a highly underrated ground attack that he doesn't implement often enough. The prevailing thought among many pundits would be for the 36-year-old to get McGregor to the mat.
But Cerrone told ESPN on Tuesday that it's unlikely he'll take the easiest route. Instead, he wants to stand and trade strikes with perhaps the best puncher in MMA. The left hand of McGregor is unlike anything we have seen in MMA. If he touches you flush, you are going down. McGregor also has more than the left hand. His striking is crisp and accurate, and his takedown defense is underrated.
When it comes right down to it, this is McGregor's fight to lose. From every indication seen, McGregor appears to be in the right place physically and mentally for the first time since winning the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016. A focused and determined McGregor is one of the best in the world.
Unless McGregor is putting on a facade, he steamrolls through Cerrone to get 2020 started as he embarks on what he says is a three-fight journey this calendar year.
Muehlhausen's pick: Conor McGregor
Best bet: Fight ending in the first round (+145)
Are you ready for some UFC 246 betting — if so — “Notorious” ConorMcGregor is finally making a return to the octagon for a showdown with “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. This welterweight main event is set for Saturday January 18, 2020 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise,Nevada.
This main event fight should be an interesting one, since there is a lot of pressure of McGregor to perform well and move on to potential other fights on his “hit list”. Let’s take a look at some of the UFC 246 betting odds for the main event.
With Cerrone coming into this fight as cool and calm as ever, it makes you wonder if he is just as motivated to win as McGregor is. Notorious has a lot more on his plate than Cowboy does, and this could change the fight tremendously.
The UFC 246 betting odds for the main event are currently at:
*Odds subject to change
The 31 year old McGregor is currently the third best fighter in the lightweight division. His record has developed quite nicely, with it being 21-4-0. 18 of those days wins are by knockout. Add in a 41% striking accuracy and a 63% grappling accuracy, and you have a dangerous fighter. His other stats include a reach that extends to 74 inches and he stands at 69 inches.
The 36 year old Cerrone is currently the number five fighter in the lightweight division. He has made an outstanding career record of 36-12-0. 10 of those wins are by knockout and 17 are by submission. Combined with a 47% striking accuracy and a 36% grappling accuracy, this sets him up for a balanced fight. He also has a reach of 73 inches and stands 73 inches tall.
McGregor will need to keep himself off the ground, as I believe Cerrone will try to submit him. On the other side, I look for McGregor to try and knockout Cerrone in some form or fashion.
Cerrone has not had the last few fights go his way, with two consecutive losses. This seems like it is a difficult time for him but this man has seen it all, and I do believe he has the ability to snap out of a losing streak. He definitely has the experience to turn it around if he fights well against McGregor.
McGregor has had more than enough time to rest and get in shape for this fight. I see a ridiculously motivated McGregor, since he could also earn a title shot at lightweight with a victory over Cerrone. If he gets this one, and assuming KhabibNurmagomedov wins his next fight, we could potentially have a rematch with those two fighters. McGregor obviously has more motivation coming into this fight.
Grab your popcorn and get ready for the show. This one is going to be a great fight, regardless of who comes out on top. McGregor better have his mind on this fight and not who he could face next, because Cerrone definitely has the potential to take him out.
McGregor has a nearly complete resume. He does not need to prove anything to anyone, but this guy is still climbing to the top. He is motivated to become the best fighter and already taking personal shots at the potential rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This fight has all the makings to be the fight of the night. I think the end result and will be a victory for Connor McGregor.
Connor has a mouth on him, and he usually can back it up once he steps foot into the octagon. I would hate to see Cerrone lose for a third straight time, but Cerrone has not fought anyone as good and unique as McGregor in a long time.
Who are we betting on for UFC 246?
If you are looking to learn more about how to bet on the UFC, you can check out our UFC Betting Guide here at Knup Sports.