UFC 231 Opening Odds Reactions

UFC 231 takes place Saturday, December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the full opening odds for the card, and here they are.

UFC 231 Opening Odds

Max Holloway -140
Brian Ortega +100

Valentina Shevchenko -260
Joanna Jedrzejczyk +180

Gunnar Nelson -120
Alex Oliveira -120

Hakeem Dawodu -180
Kyle Bochniak +140

Thiago Santos -185
Jimi Manuwa +145

Claudia Gadelha -380
Nina Ansaroff +260

Katlyn Chookagian -265
Jessica Eye +185

Eryk Anders -165
Elias Theodorou +125

Gilbert Burns -135
Olivier Aubin-Mercier -105

Aleksander Rakic -400
Devin Clark +280

Brad Katona -215
Matthew Lopez +165

Chad Laprise -285
Dhiego Lima +205

Diego Ferreira -385
Jesse Ronson +265

And here are my initial thoughts on these odds:

– The main event is a hell of a matchup between the top two featherweights in the sport, but it’s such a hard one to call. On one hand, you have the champion Holloway (19-3) who is riding a 12-fight win streak. He’s coming off of back-to-back TKO wins over the legend Jose Aldo, but he hasn’t fought in nearly a year due to health issues. You have to wonder how that long layoff will affect him. On the other hand, you have Ortega (14-0, 1 NC), who has done nothing but win since coming into the UFC. In his last fight he knocked out Frankie Edgar in an eye-opening performance that shows he’s not just a grappler. It’s a very tough fight to call, though the fact Ortega hasn’t been five rounds since the RFA is something to keep in mind. The near Pick ’em odds with a slight lean towards Holloway look bang on.

– The co-main event isn’t as hard to call as the main event, and the odds suggest just that. Shevchenko (15-3) has been a destroyer in the UFC when she fights anyone not named Amanda Nunes. She’s had a tough year with multiple fights getting pulled, but after seeing her sister Antonina win last week you know she’ll want to keep the family win streak alive. Jedrzejczyk (15-2) is an amazing fighter herself and beat Tecia Torres in her last fight, but it’s hard to forget how Rose Namajunas beat her twice. Especially with Jedrzejczyk moving up in weight, you have to go with Shevchenko in this one as the bigger fighter with a more well-rounded skillset.

– Unfortunately the Renato Moicano vs. Mirsad Bektic fight was scrapped from the card, but another featherweight fight between Dawodu (8-1-1) and Bochniak (8-3) was moved up to the main card and I love this matchup. Dawodu is an awesome striker and Bochniak is as durable and game as it comes. Dawodu is more skilled and should be favored, but you can’t count Bochniak out of any fight.

– Some other favorites who I think should be able to win include Gadelha, Rakic and Laprise. I’d be shocked if any of them lost.

– As far as underdogs go, Eye is someone to keep your, ahem, eye on. Chookagian (11-1) has a bit more hype around her and Eye (13-6, 1 NC) isn’t far removed from a long losing skid in the Octagon, but the odds seem to be too long here. This looks like a dog-or-pass situation.

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Written by Adam Martin.

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