UFC 223 takes place Saturday, April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a stacked pay-per-view card featuring some incredible matchups and will surely be a popular ticket at the betting window. Here are the opening odds courtesy of the offshore sportsbooks for the main card.
UFC 223 Main Card Opening Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov -215
Tony Ferguson +170
Joanna Jedrzejczyk -210
Rose Namajunas +160
Calvin Kattar -180
Renato Moicano +140
Anthony Pettis -120
Michael Chiesa -120
Al Iaquinta -150
Paul Felder +120
My reactions to the UFC 223 main card opening odds:
– The main event between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson could be the best MMA fight of the year. Both guys are truly amazing talents and as long as both guys stay healthy and make weight (please MMA Gods!) this should be one hell of a fight. Nurmagomedov has won 25 fights in a row — he’s undefeated — while Ferguson is on a 10-fight-win streak and is an incredible 13-1 in the UFC. Both guys are very well-rounded fighters but the difference here is likely going to be Nurmagomedov’s wrestling. He’s proven to be unstoppable with his takedowns and we’ve seen Ferguson get taken down quite often throughout his career. Having said that, Ferguson’s guard is out of this world and if anyone is going to tap out Nurmagomedov it’s Ferguson. It makes sense that Nurmagomedov is favored based on his undefeated record, but I’m not writing off Ferguson just yet.
– The rematch betwen Jedrzejczyk and Namajunas should be a lot of fun. In the first fight back at UFC 217, Namajunas shocked the MMA world when she brutally knocked out Jedrzejczyk, who was looking like an unstoppable champion prior to that. Somewhat surprisingly, Jedrzejczyk is the favorite once again, even considering how poorly she performed in the first fight. There were some rumors of a bad weight cut to the ex-champ, and while that may be true, you can’t discredit Namajunas’ performance. On a card full of tough, competitive fights to call, this is another one that’s difficult to predict. Having said that, based on the odds, there’s likel some value in Namajunas as the dog once again.
– Kattar vs. Moicano is another great fight, and both guys are well deserving of this main card slot. Kattar is on a 10-fight win streak and is 2-0 in the UFC with a vicious TKO win over Shane Burgos in his last fight, while Moicano is 3-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming to Brian Ortega. This is a another close fight to call, but Kattar as a slight favorite looks right at first glance considering his win streak.
– Pettis vs. Chiesa should be a solid fight, and another tough one to call — hence the opening odds being a Pick ’em. Both guys are coming off of a loss, with Pettis having been finished by Dustin Poirier in his last fight and Chiesa getting tapped out by Kevin Lee his last time out. While Pettis is the former lightweight champ, he’s been on a downward spiral for some time now, while Chiesa looks like he could be on the verge of breaking out. I slightly lean towards Chiesa right now, but I may end up changing my pick by fight night.
– This fight between Iaquinta and Felder should be fire. Iaquinta has won five-straight fights with four of those wins coming by knockout while Felder has won three-straight wins by knockout. The opening line appears to be bang on with a slight lean towards Iaquinta but with respect shown to Felder. I’m slightly leaning towards Iaquinta here but Felder absolutely has the ability to win this fight.