UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has opened up as a massive betting favorite for a potential rematch against Derrick Lewis.
Ngannou is currently involved in a very public fight negotiation with the UFC and former light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones. Both Jones and Ngannou want the fight, but the UFC is having trouble coming to financial terms with Jones. Instead, the promotion is now floating a potential rematch between Ngannou and Lewis instead. On Monday, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC has offered Ngannou the rematch with Lewis for UFC 263 in June, but the heavyweight champion turned it down due to issues with timing. It also seems likely that he wants to see if the UFC can get the fight with Jones done first, as well.
Either way, with Ngannou vs. Lewis now being floated around as a potential matchup, the sportsbooks have released the opening odds for the fight. Despite the fact that Lewis won the first meeting between these two at UFC 226 three years ago by unanimous decision in a big upset, the sportsbooks have once again opened up Ngannou as a big favorite here.
— BestFightOdds (@BestFightOdds) April 5, 2021
UFC Future Odds
Francis Ngannou -350
Derrick Lewis +275
Ngannou opened up as a -350 betting favorite, meaning a $350 bet would win you $100. As for Lewis, he opened up as a +275 betting underdog, meaning a $100 bet would win you $275. According to BestFightOdds, Ngannou closed as a -310 betting favorite and Lewis closed as a +255 betting underdog the last time these two fought.
Despite the fact that Lewis pulled off the upset that night, Ngannou is once again the favorite in the rematch. You have to remember that betting lines are based on the sportsbooks wanting to get two-way action. The lines are also a product of hype, and right now, Ngannou is one of the biggest names in the sport. Lewis, meanwhile, rarely gets respect from bettors. In his last outing he knocked out Curtis Blaydes as a +335 underdog.
Who is your money on if the UFC books this rematch between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis?