Several Bookmakers Sportsbook installed challenger Valentina Shevchenko as a massive favorite against current champion Nicco Montano in the women’s flyweight title fight at UFC 228 in Dallas on September 8.
Montano’s odds make her the biggest opening underdog in UFC history for a defending champion.
Matt Serra had the highest closing odds for a current titleholder, listed as a +430 underdog at the time of the UFC 83 fight versus Georges St. Pierre (2008), but odds have never opened as high as Montano’s.
Montano (4-2) earned the belt by winning season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted the women’s flyweight division in the UFC. Montano impressively defeated Lauren Murphy, Montana Stewart and Barb Honchak to earn a spot in the title fight, where she outworked Roxanne Modafferi to earn the belt. Montano has been sidelined with injuries recently, and this marks the first-ever defense of the UFC’s women’s flyweight title.
Shevchenko (15-3) impressively rose to top contender status in the UFC women’s bantamweight division by defeating top contenders Holly Holm and Julianna Pena, but lost twice to current champion Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko was undersized for the divsion and dropped to 125 pounds earlier this year, debuting with an extremely one-sided beatdown of Priscili Cachoeira to earn her shot at the belt.
Here’s what professional oddsmaker Nick Kalikas had to say about the contest:
“Montano is a solid fighter and proved herself against a tough veteran in Roxanne Modaferri at TUF 26. That said, the uncrowned champion in the division to most people is Valentina Shevchenko. Montano continues to improve as evidenced by her win over Modafferi, but Shevchenko has her outclassed in every area of the fight. This will be a very difficult matchup for Montano, especially after a long layoff. Bettors haven’t quite given Montano the respect she deserves, and Shevchenko has to be a significant favorite in this bout.”
Betting odds for the bout are posted below:
UFC 228 – Women’s Flyweight Title
Nicco Montano +360
Valentina Shevchenko -550
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