Funny enough, even the most popular online sportsbooks have got in on the fun. Despite none of these dream matches being signed to paper, the bookies have released moneyline betting odds for several of them. It’s worth noting that you can bet on these, but if the fights don’t end up happening by year’s end, you’ll just get your money refunded. So it’s “no harm, no foul” in a way to wager these. With that said, let’s dream away:
Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones Betting Pick
This fight has been rumored for ages. Jon Jones vacated the light heavyweight belt two years ago in anticipation of moving up to heavyweight, which is currently ruled by the champion, Ngannou. Both fighters have had public disputes with Dana White about money, which has left this fight up in the air. Bur make no mistake about it, if it ever happens, Ngannou HAS to be your betting pick to win.
The best UFC betting sites currently have Ngannou as a comfortable favorite at one-two-odds roughly. Honestly, we think it should be longer. More on that soon, but let’s take a quick gander at the current betting lines:
Jones has a legit argument for UFC goat given his unbeaten record. But at the same time, Jones has looked mortal the last two times we saw him inside the octagon. First, there was a split decision win against Thiago Santos and then there was a “controversial” unanimous decision versus Dominick Cruz. The scorecards were heavily criticized in the latter fight, especially after Jones failed to walk to the locker room unassisted post-fight (due to Cruz's barrage of leg kicks). Approaching 35 years old — and fight-less since February 2020 — it’s not unreasonable to think Jones’ best days are long behind him.
Plus, even at his prime, a move up to heavyweight is a big step-up for Jones. Typically, when a fighter moves up weight classes, they have a “tune-up” fight to get accustomed to the added weight. Well, let us tell you, Ngannou is no one’s tune-up. He’d outweigh Jones by at least 40 pounds in the bout and his power would be unlike anything Jones has ever felt. If it happens, we’d predict Ngannou to win in knockout fashion — ending Jones vaunted undefeated streak (and G.O.A.T. candidacy) in the process.
Welterweight: Colby Covington vs. Dustin Poirier Betting Pick
This fight has a strong chance of happening. Covington used his post-win speech against Jorge Masvidal to call out “The Diamond”, who has openly said he too wants to move up weight classes. Early indications from the bookies think that would be a bad matchup for Poirier. Check out the current betting odds for Covington vs. Poirier:
Poirier is an incredibly crisp striker, just ask Conor McGregor. But Covington would be a tough matchup for Dustin due to Colby’s elite wrestling skills. We just saw Covington maul Masvidal with that grappling ability — and Jorge has the striking ability right on par with Poirier — and we can’t help think the exact same scenario would manifest itself in this showdown.
With that said, Poirier’s +425 betting line to win also feels disrespectful. The beauty of UFC is anyone can win a fight on the right day. Poirier’s path to victory versus Covington hinges on a knockout, which may be not easy, is still very possible. At 4-to-1 odds, it’s worth taking a flyer bet on Poirier in the event he can land the perfect shot to Covington. Poirier is criminally undervalued here, which makes him a worthy bet despite our belief that Covington is clearly more well-rounded inside the ring.
Kayla Harrison vs. Amanda Nunes Betting Pick
White has called this potential showdown between these two a mega million-dollar fight. Harrison is a two-time judo gold medalist, currently signed to Professional Fighters League (where she likely earns more than what UFC could offer). Nunes, of course, is widely considered the best female fight in UFC history. As it stands, bookies have Nunes as the clear pick to make betting-wise:
We’ll be honest, -240 feels rather too rich for Nunes given her most recent performance — losing via submission to Julianna Pena in the second round. Before the tap out, Pena was landing strikes to Nunes left and right. Akin to Jones, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Nunes might be on the backend of her career nowadays.
While we’re still unsure how good Harrison actually is — the PFL is full of tomato-can fighters in the women’s division — we’d still take her as the underdog bet here. We don’t like the damage Nunes took last time out in the octagon. We could very well see Harrison inflicting a similar type of pain en route to a win.
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