UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has opened as a betting favorite in his scheduled UFC 218 title defense against former champ Jose Aldo.
The Hawaiian 145-pound champion defeated Aldo via the technical knockout in the third round of their title unification bout at UFC 212 in June. Holloway had earned the interim belt in December 2016 with a win over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
He was set to defend his featherweight strap for the first time on December 2, against former lightweight champion and top-ranked featherweight contender, Frankie Edgar. Edgar sustained an injury which caused his withdrawal and Aldo was contacted and stepped up for the fight on short notice.
Just like the main event at UFC 218 changed to Holloway vs. Aldo 2, the odds will also change as we get closer to fight night on December 2nd. Right now, UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway (18-3) is the favorite over Jose Aldo (26-3). Holloway opened at -185 but is up to -250 (compared to +195 for Aldo). If you’re looking to pick Holloway by stoppage, you might be wise to see some sportsbooks options are available here beforehand. Expect his odds to go down a bit as sharp bettors see value in taking the underdog at +195.
The quick shift in odds in Holloway’s favor means that most of the early bets were placed on the champ, who was able to TKO Aldo and win the title at UFC 212. But it’s not like that original championship bout was one-sided. In fact, some will say that Aldo was winning the first two rounds until he ate a big right hand in the third that marked the beginning of the end.
The co-main event at UFC 218, Alistair Overeem (43-15) vs Francis Ngannou (10-1), does not currently have a moneyline, but our MMA experts predict that the fight will open with Ngannou as a -150 favorite against the aging Dutchman, a number which actually undervalues the rising star. Although Ngannou’s wins have all been by violent stoppage in the first two rounds, the man they call “The Predator” is still an unknown quantity, while Overeem remains a big name in MMA circles and a top heavyweight in his own right. If the fight does open at -150, expect Ngannou to be a bigger favorite by the time December 2nd rolls around, as more casual UFC fans become acquainted with his highlight reel and devastating power.
Complete UFC 218 fight card:
Max Holloway (c) vs. José Aldo
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros
David Teymur vs. Drakkar Klose
Felice Herrig vs. Cortney Casey
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
Justin Willis vs. Allen Crowder
Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magaña