Jones Remains Champion
We are a little miffed by the heavyweight market. Current title holder Jones has +200 odds to hold the title at the end of 2023 and he’s only going to have one more fight, which comes against Stipe Miocic, a +900 chance.
Sergei Pavlovich is the current +165 favorite with sports betting markets, but we don’t think he’ll even get a chance to compete for the title.
We’re not complaining about the +200 odds for Jones, who fights Miocic in November, but we are wondering what the sportsbook is thinking.
Jailton Almeida is +180, and his next fight is against Curtis Blaydes on the same card as Jones vs Miocic, so your guess is as good as ours.
Either way, lock in Jones to hold the title.
Middleweight Division Odds Shuffled
The middleweight division got a shakeup with Adesanya’s loss at UFC 293.
Despite being the new champion, Sean Strickland is a +400 chance to retain the title into 2024, which could be worth a nibble.
Our UFC predictions can’t see him fighting too soon, but he could have a bout in December, which will likely be against Khamzat Chimaev, and we would expect Strickland to lose that fight.
It makes for an interesting betting market, and with Chimaev at +165 to become UFC champion before 2024, there has been solid betting support.
Adesanya is at +650 to get his title back, but we have a strong feeling he’s going to have an extended break from the sport according to the latest UFC news.
Bo Nickal is listed at +600. There is no chance he gets a title shot over the likes of Chimaev and Dricus Du Plessis, so we wouldn’t entertain those odds.
“Myself and [Strickland] had the biggest upsets of 2023 and I am undoubtedly the No. 1 contender, so let’s settle this like men whenever, wherever,” Du Plessis said. “After that, I’ll give [Adesanya] his well-deserved hiding on my home soil (in) South Africa.”
— memer10 (@memer7534) September 10, 2023
Make Wager on Makhachev
Islam Makhachev fights Charles Oliveira in late October for the UFC lightweight belt, and we don’t see him losing it.
Should he get past Oliveira, which is he favored to, we doubt he’ll fight again in 2023. October’s fight in his second in 2023, and squeezing another title fight in the last two months of the year seems cruel.
He’s the rightful -125 favorite to have the lightweight belt around his waist on Dec. 31, and it’s hard to make a case for anyone except Makhachev and Oliveira.
Justin Gaethje is on the third line of betting. The BMF title holder could face the winner of Makhachev vs Oliveira, but even if that fight happens in December, we’re backing the current champion every time.
Easy Lock with Volk
Alexander Volkanovski has no plans of putting his featherweight belt on the line in 2023.
The Australian said he’s resting and will fight Ilia Topuria in 2024, so why not take the +110 odds and run to the bank?
Max Holloway is +500, which is a crazy price for someone undeserving of a title shot. He’s a legend of the sport, don’t get us wrong, but we can’t see him fighting Volkanovski for the featherweight title anytime soon.
There is no easier bet in these markets than Volkanovski, simply because he won’t be fighting again in 2023, so take the early Christmas gift.