Bellator MMA’s upcoming heavyweight Grand Prix is one of the most talked about events in MMA right now.
This tournament, which seeks to fill Bellator’s vacant heavyweight throne by crowing a new champion, kicks off this January 20 when former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson battles three-time UFC title challenger and infamous MMA mouthpiece Chael Sonnen.
The next bout of the first round will occur on February 16, when former UFC heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson will collide in a rematch of a 2012 bout, which Nelson won by knockout.
Next up, in April, heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko will collide with former UFC heavyweight champion and recent Bellator signee Frank Mir.
The first-round of the tournament then wraps up in May, when reigning Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader takes on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Ahead of this tournament’s January kick-off, Bovada has released betting odds for it.
As widely expected, streaking heavyweight star Matt Mitrione is favored to win this tournament, while dangerous light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader clocks in right behind him as the second biggest favorite.
From there, Frank Mir is the next biggest favorite, while Roy Nelson and Fedor Emelianenko reside in the middle of the pack, and oddsmakers have the least confidence in King Mo, Sonnen and Rampage. Interestingly, the bookmakers believe that “any alternate fighter” is more likely to win this tournament than King Mo, Sonnen or Rampage. We don’t even know who the alternates will be yet. Ain’t that a slap in the face.
Here are the full Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix betting odds in descending order.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: +1600.
Chael Sonnen: +1400
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal: +1100
Roy Nelson: +600
Fedor Emelianenko: +600
Any alternate fighter: +600
Frank Mir at: +400
Ryan Bader: +280
Matt Mitrione: +225.
The odds for the first-round matchups have also been released. See those below:
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen | Jan. 20
Quinton Jackson: -155
Chael Sonnen: +125
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson | Feb. 16
Matt Mitrione: -175
Roy Nelson: +145
Frank Mir vs. Fedor Emelianenko | April
Frank Mir: -190
Fedor Emelianenko: +155
Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal | May
Ryan Bader: -260
Muhammed Lawal: +200
Who do you think will win this tournament? Do any of these fighters strike you as live underdogs?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 20/12/2017.