BetOnline opened up odds for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight earlier today. The presumed opponent is Tony Ferguson, who has won 12 consecutive fights and hasn’t tasted defeat since a 2012 loss to Michael Johnson.
BetOnline opened Nurmagomedov as a -300 favorite vs. Ferguson, but the odds moved to -225 less than 15 minutes later. As of early Sunday evening, ‘The Eagle’ was a -260 ‘chalk’ with Ferguson at +220.
Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin ‘The Diamond Poirier’ via third-round submission in Saturday’s UFC 242 main event in Abu Dhabi. The Dagestan native won as a -400 favorite, remained undefeated in 28 career fights, improved to 12-0 in the UFC and successfully defended his belt for the second time.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday, 9/10/19, at 11:40 a.m. Eastern, BetOnline had adjusted Nurmagomedov to a -235 favorite, with Ferguson as a +200 underdog.
On Monday in an ESPN interview, Ferguson spoke about Nurmagomedov’s performance at UFC 242, “Lazy. One-dimensional. Nothing against him, both guys did awesome fight week. I know there was a lot of nerves and stuff. Khabib showed up, he obviously won. He put the pressure on Dustin and Dustin didn’t have an answer for it. Props to Khabib for winning but like I said, it’s lazy. We’ve prepared for this guy many times. He’s a good fighter but I know how to break that goat.”
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have previously been booked to fight four different times. At a media event just seven days before they were set to collide for the vacant 155-pound pound strap at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, Ferguson tripped in a freak accident that injured his knee and required surgery.
The previous time they were going to meet, Nurmagomedov had to be hospitalized when had issues with his weight cut. The first two fights were cancelled due to training injuries, once when Ferguson was injured and the other time when Nurmagomedov got hurt.
“Tony Ferguson gets the next shot and obviously if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want the fight at that time then we would figure out what was next but Conor would make a lot of sense,” UFC President Dana White said at the UFC 242 post-fight press conference.
Why White would even throw that — McGregor’s name — out there is a bit of a head scratcher. Whatever the case, it prompted Bovada to open Nurmagomedov as a -350 ‘chalk’ this morning for a potential rematch with ‘The Notorious.’
McGregor, who lost to Nurmagomedov by fourth-round submission at UFC 229, is a +265 underdog. He hasn’t won a UFC fight since winning the lightweight championship with a second-round knockout win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 of 2016.
McGregor took to social media after Nurmagomedov’s victory over Poirier: