On Monday night about 48 hours removed from Khamzat Chimaev’s unanimous-decision win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in Jacksonville, BetOnline opened Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) as a -200 favorite for a potential bout later this year against top-ranked welterweight contender Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington.
Before Chimaev’s victory over Burns in a leading candidate for the 2022 Fight of the Year, UFC President Dana White said that Chimaev would most likely face Covington next rather than get a crack at Kamaru Usman’s welterweight strap.
Although it hasn’t officially been booked yet, Leon Edwards is expected to face Usman for his 170-pound strap next. White confirmed again at his UFC 273 post-fight presser that Chimaev-Covington will likely be next for both fighters.
Since BetOnline opened the odds, there’s been quite a bit of movement. In the first hour of betting, the -200 odds decreased to -160 and then down to -110. On Tuesday morning, the odds were up to -125 in Chimaev’s favor before moving to -155 by the afternoon.
Chimaev remains a -155 ‘chalk’ as of early Wednesday afternoon. Covington is a +135 underdog.
Covington bounced back from a second loss to Usman by defeating his bitter nemesis Jorge Masvidal via UD in a lopsided contest at UFC 272. He’s been radio silent on social media since being attacked by Masvidal in Miami a few weeks after their scrap in Las Vegas.
Burns reached out to Chimaev on Twitter earlier today, offering to run it back in a five-rounder “if Covington [calls] the cops [or doesn’t] show up.” You can see Chimaev’s response to Burns below.
Chimaev jumped up eight spots this week to No. 3 in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, behind only Edwards (No. 2) and Covington. Burns fell from second to No. 4 in the 170-pound loop.