Conor McGregor a massive favorite to defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257

By Zac Wassink  |  Last updated 1/20/21

Unsurprisingly, former two-division champion and top pay-per-view draw Conor McGregor (22-4-0) is a heavy favorite to topple Dustin Poirier (26-6-0) in the main event of this weekend’s UFC 257 pay-per-view. 

On Wednesday, ESPN’s David Purdum reported that multiple sportsbooks recently accepted six-figure bets on the outspoken Irishman to win for the second consecutive January. As of early Wednesday afternoon, BetOnline.ag listed McGregor as a -310 favorite to earn his 23rd professional victory. 

Poirier was a +260 underdog at that same time. 

“Saturday is trending to be our biggest UFC event ever, surpassing UFC 246, when McGregor took out Donald Cerrone,” PointsBet communications director Patrick Eichner told ESPN. 

McGregor hasn’t competed since he stopped Cerrone in 40 seconds in the main event of UFC 246 last January. News broke on Tuesday that the 32-year-old former champion is the subject of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by a woman who reportedly has known McGregor for years, but that potential distraction isn’t yet impacting the odds for his bout versus Poirier. 

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Dana White on Conor McGregor: ‘I guarantee he will not fight in 2020’

By Blake Harper | Last updated 8/4/20

Conor McGregor remains one of the most popular names in UFC, but according to Dana White, the Irish brawler won’t be entering the Octagon again until at least 2021. The UFC President appeared on Barstool’s “My Mom’s Basement” podcast and made it clear that McGregor won’t be fighting for UFC in 2020.

“This year, he is retired,” White said. “He doesn’t have a fight this year, and he won’t have a fight this year. Conor McGregor will not fight in 2020. … I guarantee he will not fight in 2020.”

McGregor announced his retirement on Twitter back in June and told ESPN that he simply did not find the sport exciting anymore. If he is serious about retirement, he goes out as arguably the most popular fighter in UFC history, with a  22-4 MMA record that includes 19 knockouts. His last fight was against Donald Cerrone in January, as McGregor managed to beat him by TKO in just 40 seconds.

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Coach confirms Conor McGregor is ‘retired’ from UFC, MMA

Fight fans believing it’s only a matter of time before former two-division champion Conor McGregor comes out of his latest ” retirement” whenever UFC boss Dana White presents the outspoken Irishman with a financially-pleasing deal may not want to speak with McGregor’s coach about the situation.

As noted by Damon Martin of MMA Fighting, longtime McGregor coach John Kavanagh discussed his fighter’s latest sabbatical from the Octagon during an Instagram Live session and said that, as far as he knows, the soon-to-be 32-year-old has hung his gloves up for good.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 6/30/20

Quote: Conor McGregor Can’t Train Heart For Khabib Rematch

Conor McGregor suffered a huge loss in his Octagon return earlier this month (Sat. October 6, 2018). “The Notorious” was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round via neck crank. It marked the second loss of McGregor’s UFC career and the biggest victory of Khabib’s. Since his defeat, the Irishman has remained adamant in his desires for an immediate rematch.

Given the lopsidedness of the contest, it’s hard to make the argument that such a fight makes any sense. UFC lightweight competitor Al Iaquinta, who has shared the Octagon with Khabib, recently commented on the matter during an appearance on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show.” Iaquinta lost a unanimous decision to Khabib for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 223 in April.

You Can’t Train Heart

He knows what it’s like to deal with the grueling grappling dominance of “The Eagle.” Iaquinta said that McGregor fought well and has a lot a lot of skills. However, he could train for a rematch as much as he wants, but the one thing he can’t train is his heart (via MMA Mania):

“He fought good, definitely has a lot of skills. The rematch is not anything he can fix. You can train to defend takedowns, you can train to get back up, train for a million things. The one thing you can not train is to have heart when shit gets real tough,” Iaquinta said.

“When you feel like you are about to die, to figure out a way to live and not have the ref pull you off and save you. That is not going to get fixed if they fight in six months or a year or three years. That is still going to be there, that is not changing.

“His teammates aren’t going to help him in there and all of that money is not going to buy heart. So he can say whatever he wants, I sell real estate, I am number 11, but at the end of the day, he is definitely not tougher than me.”

By Jon Fuentes

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Conor McGregor Already Saying He Could Beat Mayweather in a Rematch

Written by Kevin Skiver at CBS Sports.com

After his loss to Floyd Mayweather in August, Conor McGregor isn’t just going to go away. McGregor said in an interview with BBC that he could beat Mayweather in a rematch, but he respects the 50-0 boxer’s decision to retire and didn’t want to make any guarantees regarding a potential rematch.

“If we had a rematch? I would correct it. And I would beat him,” McGregor said. “He’s retired, I’m not going to stay calling him out all the time — I’m going to leave him to it — if it happens, maybe it will, who knows? I would beat him. No doubt.”

McGregor also said that he hasn’t spoken to Mayweather since the fight.

“No, we haven’t spoken,” he said when asked. “I respect what [he’s done]. 50-0 — after the fact I was like … I accept [the loss] and just let him be. Maybe though. Who knows? We’ll see.”

However, the thought of a boxing rematch will have to wait, as McGregor has other titles to defend.

“The next [fight] will be a UFC bout,” he said. “It’ll be a mixed martial arts bout, 100 percent. I will defend my lightweight belt, and then boxing is certainly an interest of mine, no doubt.”

McGregor, of course, has a lot of things to juggle. He’s much more than a fighter at this point; he’s a personality, and he’s upholding a brand. The loss seems to have humbled him — albeit marginally — but he wouldn’t shirk away from a rematch. If Mayweather is listening, and Mayweather always seems to be listening, the idea is out there. Whether McGregor is “calling him out” or not, he certainly won’t shy away from talking about fighting the boxing champion again.

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Mayweather Outlasts McGregor in 10 Round Fight

Written by John Eligon at New York Times.com

By the look of things, retirement was treating Floyd Mayweather Jr. well.

He had a stable of boxers to promote, businesses, including a new strip club, to run, and a vast collection of luxury cars to enjoy. But there is a reason he embraces the nickname Money: His brand was built as much on personality and spectacle as on skills in the boxing ring.

So when a rivalry with the mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor was manufactured on social media, Mayweather, 40, was more than happy to end his two-year retirement and to collect one final, potentially record-breaking paycheck. And he did it in the style that virtually everyone expected.

After allowing McGregor — 29 and boxing professionally for the first time — to come at him early in the fight with awkward punches that were by turns slapping and sharp, Mayweather took control in the middle rounds. He never looked back. He reddened McGregor’s face with a barrage of right-handed bombs, leading the referee to stop the fight a little more than a minute into the 10th round on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The victory left Mayweather with a 50-0 record as a boxer, and dropped McGregor’s mark to 0-1.

Not only did Mayweather set himself up for a handsome paycheck expected to exceed $200 million, but he also ended a career as a defensive master with a performance that was decidedly offensive. This was Mayweather exorcising the demons of his previous megafight, against Manny Pacquiao two years ago, which proved to be dull to its broad, mainstream audience.

“I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” he said in the ring after beating McGregor. “I owed them for the Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. That’s what I gave them.”

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$1 Million Dollar Bets On Mayweather Skew Fight Odds

Written by David Purdum at ESPN.com

Multiple $1 million bets on Floyd Mayweather were among a flurry of big money that showed up in Las Vegas on Thursday, shaking up the odds for the undefeated boxing champion’s showdown with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The MGM sportsbook took a $1 million bet on Mayweather at minus-550 odds from a VIP casino guest, who wired in the money to the casino cage ahead of the wager, MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told ESPN. The bet would net just under $182,000, if Mayweather prevails.

Shortly after, William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook reported taking a $1.2 million bet on Mayweather at minus-500 odds from a customer who paid cash. That bet would net $240,000.

After dipping below minus-500 last weekend, Mayweather’s odds were back up to minus-600 at multiple books Thursday.

“The price is skyrocketing right now,” Rood told ESPN on Thursday afternoon.

The two $1 million bets are the largest reported wagers on the fight to this point and were part of a surge of action on Mayweather around town Thursday. In addition to the $1 million bets, MGM and William Hill each took $300,000 bets on Mayweather earlier in the day.

The South Point sportsbook reported taking two approximately $200,000 bets on Mayweather within 15 minutes of each other. Those bets followed a $50,000 bet on McGregor at plus-450 that would net $225,000, if the Irishman pulls off the upset.

While the bigger money begins to appear on Mayweather, the books have a long way to go before evening out the action. William Hill said, even with Thursday’s $1.2 million bet on Mayweather, the book still faces a seven-figure liability on McGregor.

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Vegas Might Be Screwed If McGregor Wins

Written by Brandon Wise and Larry Hartstein at CBS Sports.com

While Floyd Mayweather will have plenty at stake for Saturday’s showdown with Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, gamblers have plenty of their own on the line. And if things break the wrong way, Las Vegas could be bleeding money come Sunday morning.

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill, told CBS Sports that he’s taken 16 times more bets on McGregor and that his company is looking at “a good seven-figure loss” if the UFC star pulls the upset.

“I think there will be some late Mayweather money but not enough,” Bogdanovich said of the fight, which will air live on Showtime PPV. “We’re going to need Mayweather big, just not sure how big.

“I knew there would be money on McGregor — they bet him heavy in UFC — but never in a million years did I think it would be this kind of money.”

William Hill took a $150,000 bet on McGregor at +480, a wager that will pay a cool $720,000 if McGregor hands Mayweather his first loss. William Hill currently is dealing Mayweather at -500 and McGregor at +400.

MGM Resorts also is staring at a massive liability on McGregor, but other books have taken more balanced action.

The Westgate LV SuperBook took a few six-figure wagers on Mayweather, helping to offset the 95 percent of bets that have come in on McGregor.

“We’re certainly in need of Mayweather, but not like some of the other properties around,” SuperBook director Jay Kornegay said.

Kornegay expects the betting pattern to continue — small wagers from tourists and fans on McGregor, heavy hitters on Mayweather — “and I’m comfortable with that.”

As noted earlier Monday afternoon, while most of the action is on McGregor, most of the money is on Mayweather, according to CG Technology.

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Mayweather Give McGregor A Chance; Claims He Lost A Step

Written by ESPN Staff at ESPN.com

Floyd Mayweather spent much of his promotional tour last month mocking Conor McGregor’s skills and confidently predicting he would dominate their Aug. 26 boxing match, but he struck a more deferential tone Tuesday, acknowledging that he has “lost a step” and that McGregor, at least on paper, has the edge over him.

In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Mayweather, 40, pointed to McGregor’s advantages in size and age as reasons why the UFC fighter poses a legitimate challenge.

“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side,” Mayweather said of McGregor, who is 29. “And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”

Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound boxing king and five-division world champion, is coming out of retirement for his clash with McGregor, a bout for which he is widely considered a heavy favorite.

He has not fought since his one-sided unanimous decision over Andre Berto in September 2015, which improved his record to 49-0. McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, will be making his professional boxing debut against Mayweather.

Asked by Smith why he wasn’t brashly proclaiming McGregor has no chance in their fight, Mayweather said simply, “I’m older.

“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” he said. “A fighter like Andre Berto isn’t even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It’s obvious I’m slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like that go the distance with me.

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McGregor Vs Mayweather To Be Shown In Movie Theaters For $40 Bucks

Written by Daniel Rapaport at SI.com

The Aug. 26 superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will be shown at select movie theaters across the country.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael first reported that Fathom Events and Mayweather Productions have collaborated to bring the broadcast to the big screen. Rafael reports that the broadcast shown in these theaters will be identical to one shown on Showtime, with one key difference: Showtime’s pay per view broadcast will cost $99.95 per television, while tickets to the theater showings will be significantly less, but still may run up to $40.

“The buzz that my fight against Conor McGregor is getting has been great already, so what better way to watch this larger than life event than on the big screen? We brought boxing back to movie theaters eight years ago and it was a huge success,” Mayweather said. “But this event is on a different level and I’m so glad we are giving fans another way to see all the action. Grab your popcorn because this is a fight no one will want to miss.”

Still, that $40 will surely turn away some potential viewers, as it makes more financial sense to split the fight with (two or more) friends than to pay $40 per seat at a theater.

Buzz for the fight between the 49-0 Mayweather and MMA star/boxing newcomer McGregor has been remarkable, thanks in part to a week-long promotional tour that put both fighters’ propensity for trash talk and self-aggrandizement on display.