UFC 223 Betting Preview

Fight fans, UFC 223 is quickly approaching and this will undoubtedly be the most exciting UFC card of the spring. Recently, the UFC seems to have bombarded us with up-and-comers and novelty fights. The good news for us is that this card will feature well-established, elite talent. Let's dive in.

It seems like every sports fan on the planet must know who Conor McGregor is at this point. I've got to say though that true UFC fans have every right to be a little resentful of McGregor. His shadow still looms over the league and yet he hasn't fought since 2016. The fighters most harmed by this are Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Both men have proven their worth and more and yet you can't help but figure that there is a gigantic, McGregor-sized hole at their 155-pound weight class. Until McGregor tells us what the hell is going on with his fighting future, these two elite fighters could put up the fight of the decade and it still wouldn't be enough. Having said that, this one should be an epic bout.

Tony Ferguson is a cardio beast, plain and simple. He looks capable of going a dozen rounds. I'm serious, check out some of his YouTube clips. Unfortunately, Ferguson had to be replaced last minute by Max Holloway. Holloway will attempt to become the youngest fighter ever to hold two UFC titles and only the second ever to hold both belts simultaneously. The first fighter to do it: McGregor. This would all be impressive if it weren't for the backstory of Nurmagomedov. This is a man who was raised in war-ravaged Dagestan and he seems to have harnessed his inner demons and channeled them into an uncommon rage. He obliterates opponents, plain and simple, and he has the undefeated 25-0 record to prove it. Forget the rest of the card; this one will be worth the PPV fee by itself.

The co-main event is arguably the most anticipated women's rematch in the history of the UFC. Joanna Jedranahana (sorry Jedrzejczyk) played the part of the champion: she had the swagger, the presence, the shit-talking. Simply, she commandeered the spotlight. And then she got popped by Rose Namajunas early in the first round and she never recovered in one of the most stunning upsets in recent UFC history. Many commentators have written off Joanna as simply too old to get it done. She switched her gym and the cut down to 115 was just too much for the thirty-year old. She'll be looking to prove the haters wrong. Meanwhile, Namajunas has got to prove that she's not a one-hit wonder (aha).

There are a couple other interesting earlier fights. Look for Anthony Pettis to continue his downward spiral and get smoked by Michael Chiesa. Miarbek Taisumov has been annihilating the smaller European leagues and finally gets his big break against Evan Dunham. Does he have the right stuff to battle in the big leagues or is he just a little league baller? And can Al Iaquinta put aside all the off-the-mat politics with the UFC front office and demonstrate that he's worth the drama. Don't sleep on the undercard, there's some good value on the dogs.

I like Nurmagomedov to outlast Ferguson and Jedrzejczyk to get some sweet revenge against Namajunas.