Though the fight itself is not confirmed just yet, the early odds for UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic’s fight with surging contender Francis Ngannou have been released – and they’re pretty surprising.
Though Stipe Miocic has already established himself as one of the most impressive heavyweight champions in UFC history, he has actually opened as the underdog against the streaking Francis Ngannou.
According to a piece published on ESPN, MMAOddsbreaker.com‘s Nick Kalikas has pegged Miocic as a +130 underdog, while Ngannou has been identified as a -160 favorite. This means that a successful $100 bet on Miocic would earn you $130, while it would take a successful $160 bet on Ngannou to win $100.
.@UFC heavyweight title challenger @Francis_Ngannou will open a (-160) betting favorite over the champion, @StipeMiocicufc (+130), according to @FightOdds of https://t.co/qKgAUDqRuM 👉 https://t.co/DxElWGi2jz … via @bokamotoESPN @espn pic.twitter.com/Hsi9ZA3ZPq
— Breaking MMA Odds (@MMAOddsAlert) December 5, 2017
Here’s what the oddsmaker Kalikas had to say about the rationale behind these odds:
“UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic will face his most dangerous opponent ever in Francis Ngannou. Ngannou has finished every opponent he’s faced in his six UFC fights, showcasing devastating power. Miocic is always well prepared, coming from an underrated gym with excellent trainers. Despite tremendous performances in knockout victories over Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos in his last three fights, Miocic will be opened as the underdog because I feel the majority of the betting public will buy into the hype behind the surging Ngannou, who scored one of the scariest knockouts ever this past weekend at UFC 218.”
With his UFC 218 knockout win over Alistair Overeem last weekend, Francis Ngannou rocketed to 6-0 in the UFC. In this span, he’s dished out public executions of Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes, Bojan Mihajlovic, Anthony Hamilton, Andrei Arlovski, and of course, Overeem. The hulking heavyweight’s overall record now stands at 11-1.
Stipe Miocic, meanwhile, is riding high on a ridiculous string of first-round knockouts, having recently clubbed Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos into unconsciousness. This streak of first-round wins was preceded by an absolute mauling of Mark Hunt, which was finally called to a stop after four and a half grisly rounds. He’s 17-2 overall.
Though the date of this potential Miocic vs. Ngannou scrap is still far from set, UFC President Dana White recently suggested it could headline UFC 220 in Boston, taking the card’s top spot from Daniel Cormier’s planned light heavyweight title defense against Volkan Oezdemir.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/12/2017.