UFC 224 takes place Saturday, May 12 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the opening odds for the UFC 224 main card, and here they are.
UFC 224 Main Card Opening Odds
Amanda Nunes -530
Raquel Pennington +350
Ronaldo Souza -135
Kelvin Gastelum -105
Mackenzie Dern -530
Amanda Cooper +350
John Lineker -320
Brian Kelleher +260
Lyoto Machida -120
Vitor Belfort -120
Here are my inital reactions to the UFC 224 Main Card opening odds:
– I definitely see why Nunes is such a big favorite over Pennington. Nunes is by far the best bantamweight in the women’s division and doesn’t look like she can be beaten by anyone right now. If Valentina Shevchenko couldn’t beat her twice I don’t see what Pennington has for her. Pennington hasn’t fought in well over a year and even when she did fight she wasn’t too impressive against Miesha Tate, who retired after the fight.
– Similarly, I can see why Dern was opened as such a big favorite over Cooper. Dern is one of the hottest prospects in MMA and although she didn’t look great in her UFC debut she still has a ton of room for improvement in her game. Cooper has been very inconsistent in the UFC so far. At times she’s put on good performances but other times she hasn’t looked too hot. I just feel like Dern is going to be able to get this fight to the ground and on the mat she has a huge advantage. The line on Dern has dropped since the opener but I think it probably goes back up closer to the fight.
– Lineker and Kelleher should be a hell of a scrap but I definitely agree with Lineker being favored here. He’s an incredible striker and has an iron chin and shown time and time again he knows what it takes to win brawls. Lineker is a very popular fighter as well so I wasn’t surprised to see him so heavily favored here.
– I was surprised to see Machida and Belfort as a Pick ’em fight. Machida is just a better fighter and far more durable than Belfort, who gets knocked out all the time these days. Machida has the better cardio and the better wrestling as well. Sure, Belfort could land a bomb but otherwise I don’t see how he wins this fight. I wasn’t surprise at all to see Machida get steamed up to a much bigger favorite, and I could see the line moving even more in his favor.