On April 7, in what is likely to be the main event of UFC 223, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will battle for the lightweight title. Veteran MMA oddsmakers Joey Oddessa has now released the opening odds for this fight, identifying Nurmagomedov as a -200 favorite, and Ferguson as a +165 underdog. This means that a successful $100 bet on Ferguson would earn you $165, while it would take a successful $200 bet on Nurmagomedov to make $100.
— Joey Oddessa 🇨🇷 (@MMAOdds) January 17, 2018
Oddessa explained the logic behind these odds to MMAJunkie.com.
“I don’t know if Khabib is going to take him down at will, but he’s going to take him down and hold him there long enough to win rounds and win the fight,” Oddessa said. “If there weren’t so many cancellations and inactivity with Khabib, the price would be higher. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality often brings down a guy’s stock in the eye of public opinion but not in Khabib’s case.
“He’s looked even more impressive in his recent limited appearances. He was sitting around the same price when he was forced to pull out of UFC 209, and not much has changed.”
At present, it is not certain whether Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s showdown will be for the interim lightweight title, or the undisputed lightweight title. For the latter option to occur, the UFC will have to strip Conor McGregor of his belt – which is not likely to go over well with the Irishman.
When we last saw Tony Ferguson in action, he weathered an early storm to submit the dangerous Kevin Lee and win the interim lightweight belt. With this victory, he extended his win-streak to 10-straight.
Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, last fought in December, pummelling Edson Barboza to a lopsided unanimous decision win. With this win, he stayed perfect at a truly impressive 25-0.
What do you think of the odds for Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 223 showdown? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/18/2018.