The Irish contingent of MMA bettors has made their presence felt in Las Vegas during UFC Fight Week, backing their heavily-hyped countryman Conor McGregor (17-2) up to as high as a -250 favorite (bet $250 to win $100) against Chad Mendes (17-2) at the Westgate SuperBook on Friday. McGregor opened -120 at the SuperBook but has steadily risen since July 1, peaking at -250 before coming back down to the latest number of -210 as of late Friday night. This after featherweight champion Jose Aldo backed out of their title fight due to a supposed rib injury, giving Mendes the opportunity to battle for the belt for the second time in three bouts. Mendes lost a tough five-round unanimous decision to Aldo at UFC 179 last Oct. 25, and he has gone from a +100 dog against McGregor all the way down to a low of +210 (bet $100 to win $210) on Friday. Keep in mind, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas at Several Bookmakers actually opened Mendes as a small -130 favorite against McGregor, who is now a strong favorite there as well at -190. UFC commentator Jon Anik had predicted that McGregor could close around -200, and he may be right on the money after the last of the big bets come in on Saturday. Regardless, even though Anik picked McGregor to win the main event and the interim title belt, he also said there was plenty of value on Mendes at a price of +140 or higher. Meanwhile, the co-main event for the UFC welterweight championship has seen very little line movement, with Several Bookmakers showing a 30-cent move in favor of challenger Rory MacDonald (18-2) from the opener of -140 against champion Robbie Lawler (25-10, 1 No-Contest). The SuperBook also remains stuck on the opening number of -170 for the favorite MacDonald with +150 still the price for the champ Lawler (25-10, 1 No-Contest). But the UFC 189 betting line that moved the most both offshore at Several Bookmakers and in Vegas at the SuperBook involves unbeaten bantamweight contender Cody Garbrandt (6-0) against Henry Briones (16-4-1). Gambrandt has finished all of his opponents via knockout and opened -380 at Several Bookmakers and -500 at the SuperBook. Another big mover offshore at least has been undefeated bantamweight contender Thomas Almeida, going from -445 to -800 at Several Bookmakers. Almeida is fighting British veteran Brad Pickett, who opened +575 at the SuperBook and was sitting at the same number as of Friday night. Following is a complete breakdown of the betting moves offshore and in Vegas for every bout on the UFC 189 card…
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Click here for a sortable UFC 189 Betting Moves chart.