UFC Notebook: Odds for UFC 260 title fights are out

Stipe Miocic dominated Francis Ngannou in a unanimous-decision win at UFC 220 in Boston.

The main and co-main events for UFC 260 on March 27 are set, and the odds for both title bouts are also out. The venue for the show is to be determined.

Stipe Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) will put his heavyweight belt on the line against Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou in the UFC 260 headliner. As of Sunday afternoon, most betting shops had Ngannou installed as a -150 favorite, with Miocic at +130 odds on the comeback.

5Dimes has a proposition wager for the fight to go to a decision (+400) or to not go the distance (-600).

This is a rematch of the UFC 220 headliner on Jan. 20 of 2018 in Boston, where Miocic dominated Ngannou in a unanimous-decision win (50-44, 50-44, 50-44).

Since that lopsided defeat more than three years ago, Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) has compiled a 4-1 record. Before he righted the ship, though, he took a second straight loss by UD to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226.

Since then, however, the 34-year-old Ngannou has four consecutive wins by first-round knockouts. He needed only 45 seconds to finish Curtis Blaydes, and then he took out former UFC heavyweight kingpin Cain Velasquez in merely 26 seconds.

Next, Ngannou laid waste to another former UFC heavyweight champ, Junior dos Santos, in only 71 seconds. Then at UFC 249 in Jacksonville this past summer, Ngannou dusted Jairzinho Rozenstruik in only 20 seconds.

It’s extremely difficult to survive the first 90 seconds of a fight with Ngannou, who has captured eight of his 10 UFC wins with KOs inside of two minutes. Miocic had to eat a bunch of big punches from Ngannou in the opening round of their showdown at UFC 220.

Miocic, who is now 38, weathered that early storm and was able to get a takedown. This forced Ngannou to play defense on the ground and expend a lot of energy.

Once Miocic got a takedown in Round 2, Ngannou’s path to victory was basically gone. He was completely gassed by the end of Round 2. Miocic cruised to victory from there.

After the win over Ngannou, Miocic lost his belt via first-round KO loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 226. However, the Ohio native won the rematch with ‘DC’ at UFC 241 by fourth-round KO. In the trilogy bout at UFC 252 this past August, Miocic won by UD (49-46, 48-47, 49-46).

In the UFC 260 co-main event, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will make his second title defense vs. Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega. Most books have Volkanovski listed as a favorite in the -200 neighborhood, with Ortega around +165 to +170 on the comeback.

5Dimes has -175 odds for the fight to go to a decision, while the payout is +135 for the bout to not go the distance.

In his most recent outing, Volkanovski defended his 145-pound belt successfully for the first time, but the victory did not come without controversy. ‘The Great’ won the belt by defeating Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway by UD at UFC 245.

They ran it back in the UFC 251 co-main event on July 12 of 2020. Volkanovski captured a split-decision victory (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) over Holloway, who many felt won the fight and perhaps won every round except for the fifth.

At MMADecisions, 18 media members scored it for Holloway with nine giving the nod to Volkanovski. Whatever the case, Holloway will get the winner of Volkanovski-Ortega after dominating Calvin Kattar on Fight Island two weeks ago.

This will be Ortega’s second title shot. The 29-year-old BJJ ace took the first and only loss of his career in a TKO (doctor stoppage) defeat to Holloway at UFC 231.

‘T-City’ went nearly two years without stepping into the Octagon again. However, when he did so this past October as an underdog vs. The Korean Zombie in a five-round main event on ‘Fight Island,’ Ortega demonstrated a bunch of new stand-up skills in a dominant UD victory (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) over one of the division’s best strikers.

**Bonus Octagon Nuggets**

–The Octagon returns to Las Vegas this Saturday for a 14-fight card headlined by heavyweights. Alexander Volkov will take on Alistair Overeem in the main event. As of Sunday afternoon, most spots had sixth-ranked Volkov listed as a -180 ‘chalk’ vs. the 40-year old veteran Overeem, who is ranked fifth and available for a return in the +155 neighborhood. Overeem, who is 4-1 in past five scraps with the lone defeat coming in the heartbreaking fifth-round KO loss to Rozenstruik when Overeem was four seconds away from winning a lopsided decision, is seeking a third straight win. Volkov is off a second-round TKO win over Walt ‘The Big Ticket’ Harris at UFC 254.

–Most books currently have welterweight champ Kamaru Usman listed as a -270 favorite vs. Gilbert Burns in the UFC 258 main event on Feb. 13. Burns is a +210 underdog.

–On March 6 in the UFC 259 headliner, middleweight kingpin Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya will try to become the latest double champ when he takes on Jan Blachowicz in the Polish striker’s first light-heavyweight title defense since winning the vacated belt (by Jon Jones, who has moved up to heavyweight) with a second-round TKO win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 253. Adesanya is the ‘chalk’ in the -270 range, leaving Blachowicz as a +210 underdog. Blachowicz has won four fights in a row and is 8-1 in his last nine scraps.

–In the UFC 259 co-main event, Petr Yan will defend his bantamweight strap against Aljamain Sterling, who is a +110 underdog at most shops. Yan is a -130 favorite.

–Kevin Holland will participate in his first main event when he collides with veteran middleweight Derek Brunson on March 20 at a TBD venue. Holland was one of the promotion’s breakout fighters during the pandemic, winning five consecutive fights in a seven-month span of 2020. The 28-year-old Holland is 8-1 in his last nine Octagon appearances, including four wins by KO during his five-fight surge. He took out Jacare Souza via first-round KO at UFC 256 on Dec. 12. Most books have Holland listed as a -165 favorite, with Brunson as a +140 underdog.

–Nothing is official, but there’s a lot of speculation that Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal will take on Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington in early 2021. Bovada has released odds for the potential scrap, installing Covington as a -185 favorite. Masvidal is a +150 ‘dog.

–BetOnline has Conor McGregor listed with -115 odds for a potential trilogy match against Dustin Poirier, who has -105 odds.

–BetOnline has Robert Whittaker listed as a -190 favorite vs. Paulo Costa in a five-round main event on April 17 at a TBD venue.

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