UFC 226 is the tentpole event for the UFC this summer, taking place during International Fight Week in Las Vegas. The card features two title fights, including a Cormier vs Miocic champion vs champion super fight for the heavyweight belt.
Below I’ve looked at the odds for the five main card fights from the sportsbook I use for my UFC betting in Canada. These are the current odds at the time I’m writing this article. I will touch on why the fight is likely lined the way it is, and how the lines have moved from when the betting lines opened.
Cormier vs Miocic
- Daniel Cormier +225
- Stipe Miocic -245
It should come as no surprise that the champion from the heavier weight class who is actually defending his belt is the favourite in this fight. That said, I’m a little bit surprised that Cormier’s odds have lengthened this much since he opened at +140. He was heavyweight for the first 13 fights of his MMA career (13-0) and has some big wins at that weight class such as Antonio Silva (in his prime), Josh Barnett, Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.
Holloway vs Ortega
- Max Holloway -160
- Brian Ortega +150
Holloway is the favourite in his co-main event fight with Brian Ortega. Holloway opened at -180 and was bet down to -210 before some money came in on Ortega to shorten Holloway’s odds to -160.
I think the path to victory for Holloway in this fight is pretty straightforward. Keep the fight standing and piece Ortega up with his high output striking style, while avoiding a knockout blow. Ortega has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in many of his fights and he’s as dangerous as they come, but I just don’t see Holloway getting caught with anything. He’s won 12 fights in a row against dangerous fighters and has only been finished once in his 19-3 career, which was way back in 2012 in his first UFC fight as an 18-year-old against Dustin Poirier.
Lewis vs Ngannou
- Derrick Lewis +305
- Francis Ngannou -365
Ngannou is rightfully a big favourite in this fight. He lost his recent title shot against Stipe Miocic by gassing out and allowing Stipe to get 6 takedowns throughout the fight. That said, Ngannou has the most power of anyone I’ve ever seen inside the UFC cage and he should be able to keep this fight standing while looking for the chin of Derrick Lewis.
Lewis has a great chin, but I don’t think any chin can stand up to the power in Ngannou’s hands. I’m not surprised Ngannou was bet down to -365 from opening at -230, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he enters the fight around -450.
Pettis vs Chiesa
- Anthony Pettis +145
- Michael Chiesa –165
Bettors have really given up on Pettis. He opened at +110 for this fight and has lengthened to +145. Yes, Pettis has only won 2 of his last 7 fights, but his losses have come to elite competition.
Chiesa is coming off a first round loss to Kevin Lee and his biggest win in the UFC was probably his submission victory over Beneil Dariush. That win was his last win in the UFC and it was over two years ago. I don’t get the love for Chiesa from the betting public in this fight. This must be mostly a fade of Pettis.
Saki vs Rountree
- Gokhan Saki -165
- Khalil Rountree +145
The UFC has given Saki another fighter who is likely to stand up and bang with him until one guy goes unconscious. That said, Rountree is much better than Saki’s first UFC opponent, Da Silva.
This is likely going to likely be a case of two guys banging it out, but I still don’t really get why Saki is the distinct favourite. He’s 1-1 in his MMA career, he’s getting older, and Rountree is a beast himself too.
The odds of all these fights will likely change quite a bit as we near July 7th. It will be interesting to see who money comes in on as we get closer to the fights.