UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York is all set to deliver a doubleheader of world title fights, with BOTH title challengers sizable betting favorites to unseat the current belt-holders.
The event will feature a lightweight title bout between interim champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, as well as a co-main event rematch between the newly crowned women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
And in both cases, the fighter heading into each bout without the belt has been priced up as the favorite by the bookies as they start to release their odds on the two big title fights.
Russian lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov has long been considered one of the best fighters in the UFC not to hold a world championship belt, and he’s strongly favored, with 5Dimes, Bovada and Sportsbook opening up with “The Eagle” at -240. The best price available at the time of writing is via SportBet, which has the 25-0 man Nurmagomedov at -234.
Ferguson, who captured the interim lightweight title when he submitted fellow American Kevin Lee at UFC 216 last October, is available for a variety of underdog odds, ranging from +190 (Bovada) to the best-priced +206 (SportBet).
Jedrzejczyk favored to win back her belt
The event will also feature the women’s strawweight title rematch between Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk.
Namajunas shocked the MMA world when she took just 183 seconds to dramatically stop the previously dominant champion Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217.
But despite her stunning performance, the Vegas bookmakers aren’t convinced she can repeat the feat, and they’ve set the odds with the Polish former champion as the big pre-fight favorite.
Jedrzejczyk is as short as -260 with 5Dimes, with the best odds at time of writing set by Sportsbook, which has the former champion at -225.
Reigning champion Namajunas is a +192 shot (SportBet) to successfully retain her championship in her maiden title defense, with 5Dimes and Sportsbook both offering +180 on “Thug Rose” scoring a second win over Jedrzejczyk
Holloway favored to retain at UFC 222
The Vegas sportsbooks have also priced up the March 3 featherweight title clash between champion Max Holloway and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
Holloway hasn’t lost a fight in five years and is riding a 10-fight win streak. He’s strongly favored to continue that winning run against hugely respected veteran Edgar.
Holloway is as short as -305 (Bovada) but can be backed at best odds of -290 (Sportsbook), while Edgar is as long as +257 (SportBet) as he bids to become only the fifth man to win UFC titles in two different weight classes.