UFC champ Stipe Miocic – the underdog? He is against Francis Ngannou

5 December 2017

Dann StuppFor the first time since his title-winning victory, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is the underdog.

On Monday Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, opened as the underdog to fast-rising contender Francis Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who secured a title shot with a first-round knockout of Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC) in this past weekend’s UFC 218 pay-per-view co-headliner.

ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto broke news of the opening line (via Twitter):

The opening line had Miocic +130, and Ngannou was -160.

At those odds, a winning $100 bet on Miocic would result in a net profit of $130 (implied win probability of 43.5 percent). A winning $100 bet on Ngannou, meanwhile, would net a profit of $63 (61.4 percent win probability).

As of this morning, the line had largely held steady, and 5Dimes has Miocic +120, and SportBet has him +124, according to BestFightOdds.com.

Miocic closed as a +138 underdog to Werdum, whom he beat for the title in May 2016. He closed as the favorite in his recent title defenses over Alistair Overeem (Miocic was -146) and Junior Dos Santos (-185).

Ngannou, meanwhile, has closed as the favorite in every one of his UFC fights except his second UFC bout, when he was a small (+120) underdog to Curtis Blaydes.

Ngannou, who entered UFC 218 as the No. 9-ranked heavyweight (rankings will be updated later today), didn’t waste much time issuing some friendly trash-talk to the champ (via Twitter):

After UFC 218, UFC President Dana White said Ngannou is next up for Miocic, who’s 5-0 with five knockouts since 2015. A date hasn’t been set for one of the heavyweight division’s more intriguing title fights of late.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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