Holloway a big betting favorite in UFC 218 featherweight matchup
UFC 218 will take place Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and feature one of the organization’s most promising young fighters in featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3).
The 25-year-old Hawaiian closed as a slight underdog when he upset Jose Aldo (26-3) for the 145-pound title at UFC 212 in Brazil back on June 3, and now Holloway is listed as heavy -300 chalk after winning the belt.
Upsetting Aldo in his home country with a third-round TKO impressed oddsmakers enough to make Holloway a sizable favorite in the rematch, with many wondering if the 31-year-old Brazilian and longtime former champ could be done soon.
After going nearly a decade without a loss, Aldo has dropped two of his past three bouts, including a 13-second KO at the hands of Conor McGregor at UFC 194 two years ago. Aldo is a +230 underdog as a late replacement in the main event.
Former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar was originally scheduled to fight Holloway for the title, but he was forced to withdraw due to injury. Edgar has won two straight since falling to Aldo via unanimous decision for the interim title which later became undisputed when McGregor vacated the belt.
That opened the door for Aldo to get another shot at Holloway, who has won 11 in a row since losing to McGregor by UD as a 21-year-old prospect back in 2013.
Beating Aldo again would put Holloway one victory behind Demetrious Johnson and Georges St-Pierre for the UFC’s longest active winning streak.
In the co-main event, two heavyweights hoping to earn a shot at the title will battle as rising star Francis Ngannou (10-1) meets aging veteran Alistair Overeem (43-15). Anyone can tell which fighter has more experience inside the Octagon simply by looking at their respective records, although Ngannou’s nine-bout winning streak has caught the attention of bettors in particular.
The 31-year-old Cameroon native has won post-fight bonuses after each of his last two wins, making him a -250 favorite here. He has finished all of his opponents during his winning streak with six knockouts and three submissions.
Meanwhile, Overeem (+195) has won six of seven – including his last two – with the lone loss coming to heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 on September 10, 2016. The 37-year-old journeyman will be attempting to halt the hype train behind Ngannou and get a second chance against Miocic with the champ’s future plans still on hold.
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