*****UPDATE: Khabib Nurmagomedov is now fighting Al Iaquinta in the main event of UFC 223. Here are the opening odds for that fight.****
In the wake of Max Holloway being deemed unfit to compete at UFC 223, Saturday night’s pay-per-view card now has a new main event. The new main event will be Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on Anthony Pettis for the title.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting odds for the new Nurmagomedov vs. Pettis fight. Here are the odds:
Khabib Nurmagomedov -1350
Anthony Pettis +735
Kalikas provided this quote on the fight:
“Pettis getting another shot at the lightweight title on short notice is a great opportunity for him. Unfortunately for Pettis, this is a stylistic nightmare matchup for him as he’s struggled with wrestlers putting him on his back in the past. And Khabib is the ultimate grinder when it comes to getting takedowns and implementing that style. Realistically, Pettis’ only shot in this fight is to hit a submission off his back, similarly to how he originally won the belt from Benson Henderson with an armbar off his back. Khabib has shown really good ground awareness and submission defense througout his career so that outcome is very unlikely. Therefore, I have no choice but to open Khabib as a massive favorite.”
As far as myself, I see this fight being a blowout. Pettis has looked pretty bad as of late and is coming off of a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in his last fight. Absolutely no one would have figured he would get a title fight, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Nurmagomedov is a perfect 25-0 in his MMA career and has won nine-straight fights in the UFC. While Pettis does have a solid guard from the bottom, Nurmagomedov’s top control is the strongest of anyone in the UFC, and his ground-and-pound is vicious. Given the short-notice nature of the fight, you really never know what’s going to happen because Pettis is a completely different opponent than Ferguson or Pettis was. But based on the style matchup, there’s no doubt Nurmagomedov deserves to be a huge favorite in this spot. It’s very likely he will be able to get the takedowns on Pettis at will, pound him out, and most likely finish him within the 25 minutes he has.
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