Khabib Nurmagomedov earned a UFC lightweight title shot when he defeated Edson Barboza at UFC 220 in late December. He was scheduled to take on Tony Ferguson in the main event of UFC 223 this Saturday (the fourth time the bout had been scheduled), but a freak injury to Ferguson earlier today forced him out of the title fight.
In steps UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.
Holloway is currently riding a 12-fight winning streak, most recently winning the belt from champion Jose Aldo, then defending the strap in a rematch, defeating Aldo both times via third round TKO. Holloway is on one of the most impressive runs in UFC history, but moving up a weight class against one of the best 155-pounders in the world will be a tall task.
Nurmagomedov sports a spotless 25-0 record, which includes a 9-0 mark inside the Octagon over the last six years. He has some of the most impressive wrestling, top control and ground and pound on the entire UFC roster and has been dominant in almost all of his victories.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas’ betting odds for the fight were released moments ago via Brett Okamoto at ESPN.
Here’s what Kalikas had to say about the bout:
“Max Holloway is a warrior for stepping up and I will never count the guy out. That being said, Holloway’s finishing ability comes from wearing down his opponent and to me, this is a stylistically bad match-up. Holloway has good takedown defense, but Nurmagomedov takes people down whether they have good takedown defense or not. I’m opening this price as steep as it is because of all the factors that are coming into play, including the fact that Nurmagomedov was already a -270 betting favorite against Tony Ferguson, who is bigger, stronger and a better wrestler than Holloway. With Holloway taking this on short notice, moving up a weight class and coming off an injury that forced him out of a UFC 222 headlining bout, I’m opening Nurmagomedov as a -505 favorite with the comeback on Holloway at +365.”
The odds were released on Bet DSI as well. Check them out below!
April 7, 2018
Brooklyn, New York
UFC Lightweight Title
Max Holloway +365
Khabib Nurmagomedov -505
CLICK BELOW TO BET ON HOLLOWAY VS. NURMAGOMEDOV!