Fingers crossed, Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo will finally meet in the UFC 194 main event on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas.
Now it is the interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor who is set as a -160 favorite, not Aldo, the longtime title holder.
McGregor and Aldo were supposed to battle at UFC 189 on July 11 after the Ultimate Fighting Championship sent them on an unprecedented promotional tour to support the fight. But then things got complicated.
Aldo pulled out of the fight about three weeks from the fight with a rib injury and questions remain about a sketchy drug test in Brazil. At any rate, with Aldo out, the UFC tried to save the card by putting Chad Mendes in against McGregor.
It was a bold move by the organization. Mendes is known for his excellent wrestling – which is also said to be McGregor’s kryptonite. However, while Mendes did take the Irishman to the ground early, it was McGregor who had the final say by earning a second-round knockout to win the interim title. McGregor went into that bout as a -145 favorite.
So, at long last, the UFC will circle back with McGregor and Aldo, hoping to build upon a very successful UFC 189 card and the promotional work it already put in with these two the first time around.
Now, both men have a belt and only one will leave the octagon as the real featherweight champion.
It’s interesting to see McGregor favored here. Aldo opened as a -200 favorite for UFC 189 before rumors of his rib injury started leaking out. Before Aldo pulled out of the fight McGregor was set as a -150 favorite and was seeing three times the betting support as Aldo.
After seeing what McGregor did to Mendes, UFC oddsmakers are finally taking McGregor seriously. He isn’t just a talking head from Ireland anymore.