For 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.
- UFC 218 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media
- Kevin Lee on UFC champ Conor McGregor's antics: 'He's (expletive) up'
- Francis Ngannou is getting extra bonus check, and he's using it on UFC champ Stipe Miocic
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC champ Stipe Miocic – the underdog? He is against Francis Ngannou