Amid his continued absence from the UFC, former two-division champion, Conor McGregor is as likely as both Terrance McKinney, Paddy Pimblett, and recent winner, Chase Hooper to hold the lightweight championship on December 31. 2024, ahead of an expected comeback to the sport for the Dubliner next year.
McGregor, the first fighter in Octagon history to hold two championship simultaneously, has been sidelined for over two years inside the promotion, most recently headlining UFC 264 back in July 2021, fracturing his left tibia and fibula in an opening round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in the pair’s trilogy rubber match.
The Crumlin striker is expected to return from his lengthy layoff from the sport in 2024, with an earmarked welterweight fight against former lightweight title challenger, Michael Chandler expected to welcome the Dubliner back to active competition
Last holding Octagon gold back in 2016, and eight years later, the ex-duel-weight champion is a placed at +15,000 to hold the lightweight championship on December 31. next year – compared to current champion, Islam Makhachev, who is drawing odds at -120.
Many of the best offshore sportsbooks list odds on future championship holders in the UFC come the end of next year, with Conor McGregor ranked currently as the twenty-fourth most likely fighter to hold the lightweight title by the end of 2024.
With Makhachev the current betting favorite to hold the lightweight title by the end of next year – which he looks likely to do so this year to boot, hot on the heels of the Russian is former champion and prior foe, Charles Oliveira, whom is second favorite, at odds of +300.
Interestingly to boot, incoming UFC Austin headliner and grappling talent, Armen Tsarukyan is the current fourth betting favorite to win the lightweight title and hold it at the end of next year, drawing odds of +750, behind former interim champion, Justin Gaethje at +500,
As far as expected opponent Chandler is concerned, having failed to land a vacant lightweight crown in a 2021 title fight with the above-mentioned Sao Paulo favorite, Oliveira, is as high as +3,500 to hold the lightweight crown come the end of 2024 – sitting him as the eighth favorite fighter in the list.
Disappointing, former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson comes in just ahead of Jordan Leavitt as the second-least likely fighter on the lightweight roster today to hold the divisional crown come the end of December of next year, holding odds currently as high as +60,000 – amid his shocking six-fight run of consecutive defeats.
At the welterweight limit, however, Conor McGregor – who is expected to make his comeback to the sport at the 170 pound limit, is only the thirteenth most likely fighter to hold the divisional title at the end of 2024, with odds of +6,500 currently.
Although in terms of names above the 35-year-old to hold the welterweight at the end of 2024, with names including Michael Morales, Kamaru Usman, Khamzat Chimaev ranked higher than him to win the title.
Currently, undisputed champion, Leon Edwards is the current favorite to hold the welterweight crown at odds of +140 – while undefeated finishing ace Shavkat Rakhmonov is a +450 betting favorite to win the title, behind the +300 rated, Belal Muhammad.
Maybe to some fan’s surprise ahead of his UFC 297 with Vicente Luque next month, Conor McGregor’s compatriot and fellow Dubliner, Ian Machado Garry is ranked as the sixth current favorite to hold the welterweight title at the end of next year, with odds of +1,100 available on the Portmarnock native.
At the top of the food chain – in some rather interesting availability, former undisputed heavyweight, Francis Ngannou can be backed to hold a championship in the weight class by December 31. of next year – with odds of +15,000 to win the belt.
With odds like that on offer, hypothetically, Ngannou is as likely to make a staggering return to the UFC amid his rift with CEO, Dana White – and win the heavyweight title by the end of next year, as former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor is to win the lightweight championship for the second time in his storied Octagon tenure.
With the next championship on the line coming in the form of next month’s UFC 297 headliner, former interim champion, Colby Covington is the third most likely fighter behind the trio of Rakhmonov, and Muhammad, as well as incoming opponent, Edwards to hold the title at the end of next year, drawing odds of +500.
Beyond winning a title by the end of next year, Conor McGregor is still a betting favorite to beat expected next foe, Chandler if they share the Octagon next year – with odds as short as -122 available on the Dubliner over the odds of +102 available for Missouri betting underdog, Chandler.