While it’s not unusual for a UFC champion to be a slight underdog in a fight, challenger Francis Ngannou‘s knockout performances in the Octagon have him as a sharp favorite over heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is a heavy favorite over Volkan Oezdemir heading into their UFC 220 showdown on Jan. 20 in Boston. Cormier sits at -325, while Oezdemir is at +250. That’s not at all out of the ordinary.
What seems a little surprising is Ngannou’s rise to the favored position, as he steps into the UFC 220 headliner to challenge Miocic.
Miocic (17-2) is no paper champion. In fact, he’s on the precipice of setting a UFC record. He has currently won five consecutive bouts, all by way of knockout, including two title defenses. If he beats Ngannou, Miocic will become the only man in UFC history to have defended the heavyweight belt on three consecutive occasions.
While Miocic has the decided advantage in experience and overall skill, Ngannou has lit up the Octagon over the past two years. He has yet to face the roster of talent that Miocic has, but Ngannou has knocked out five of his six UFC opponents, including his 2017 Knockout of the Year blistering of Alistair Overeem.
The highlight reel fashion of his punching power has money coming in on the Cameroonian, moving him from -165 when the UFC 220 odds opened to where he currently sits at -185. Miocic sits in the dog seat at +150.
“We opened the line at Ngannou at -165 after his highlight reel knockout of Overeem and we immediately saw an influx of really sharp money that made us move the line to -175 and eventually -185,” Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, Kevin Bradley told MMAWeekly.com.
“At this point, we were starting to see significant buyback on the dog (at +150) and were able to balance the action. As it stands now, Stipe is a small loser for us, as he has taken 34.55% of all the action. Despite it being less money overall, his underdog status contributes to the small position we have on the Champion.”
UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou Betting Odds
Daniel Cormier vs Volkan Oezdemir
- Daniel Cormier -325 (4/13)
- Volkan Oezdemir +250 (5/2)
Francis Ngannou vs Stipe Miocic
- Francis Ngannou -185 (20/37)
- Stipe Miocic +150 (3/2)
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) January 10, 2018