On Saturday, September 7th, the UFC makes its third ever trip to Abu Dhabi for a highly anticipated PPV that features the return of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on the interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier. Nurmagomedov has been out of action for nearly 11 months since he defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Due to a post-fight brawl, both Nurmagomedov and McGregor received suspensions.
MMA betting sites list Nurmagomedov as a large betting favorite over Poirier, which isn’t a surprise considering Khabib’s streak of fights where he’s been the odds on favorite. What is a bit of a surprise is the overwhelming number of large betting favorites for this UFC 242 card. Without making fight predictions, as that will come when we get closer to the day of the event, let’s take an early look at these UFC 242 betting odds.
UFC 242 Main Card Early Lines
The PPV’s main card features five fights and all of them have a significant disparity in betting odds.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (-355)
- Dustin Poirier (+290)
Nurmagomedov has the largest betting odds for the main card and the second largest for the entire PPV event. It’s a surprise considering how good Poirier looked in his last fight. Khabib opened as a -333 betting favorite and can be seen has high a -400 favorite at MMA betting sites. It’s his largest betting odds since fighting Al Iaquinta 16 months ago.
For Poirier, this is the second straight fight where he’s an underdog. Dustin was an underdog against Max Holloway in April, but won that fight in convincing fashion. However, he hasn’t seen odds this big since his early days in the UFC. Poirier opened at +225 and can be seen as high as +320 at some online betting sites.
Edson Barboza vs Paul Felder
- Edson Barboza (-172)
- Paul Felder (+147)
This is the closest fight on the main card in regards to betting odds, yet Barboza is still a sizable favorite over Felder. This is also one UFC 242 fight that has seen a lot of movement in the lines as they both opened at -110 odds.
It appears that many wagers were quickly placed on Barboza, causing most sports betting sites to adjust their odds. Barboza can be seen as high as -180 odds. For Felder, he’s been an underdog in recent fights. However, you would have to go back a few years to find him with odds this high. If you believe that Felder can pull off the upset, there are online betting sites listing him as high as +150 odds.
Islam Makhachev vs Davi Ramos
- Islam Makhachev (-285)
- Davi Ramos (+245)
Like with the previous fight, this one has also seen a significant shift in odds. Islam Makhachev opened as a -200 favorite and is now as high as -285. Ramos opened at +162 and is now up to +245 odds despite being on a four-fight win streak.
Curtis Blaydes vs Shamil Abdurakhimov
- Curtis Blaydes (-350)
- Shamil Abdurakhimov (+285)
In the only heavyweight fight of the night, Curtis Blaydes comes in as the second biggest betting favorite on the main card and the third largest odds on favorite for the entire PPV event. Blaydes is looking to get back on track in the division and has gone from a -285 favorite to as high as -380 with some MMA betting sites. Abdurakhimov opened at +225 odds and can be found as high as +289 at a few online sportsbooks.
Mairbek Taisumov vs Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Mairbek Taisumov (-260)
- Carlos Diego Ferreira (+222)
In the final main card fight, Taisumov’s odds have decreased as we get closer to fight night. Mairbek opened at a -300 favorite, but has seen his odds dip as low as -244. Ferreira opened as a +234 underdog and has also seen his odds reduce. A current betting line of +222 is the highest available. Both men are riding winning streaks into this bout as they’re both veterans inside the cage.
UFC 242 Preliminary Card
Here’s a quick look at the betting odds for the prelim fights on UFC 242:
- Ottman Azaitar (-225) vs Teemu Packalen (+190)
- Liana Jojua (-140) vs Sarah Moras (+120)
- Belal Muhammad (-330) vs Takashi Sato (+255)
- Nordine Taleb (-130) vs Muslim Salikhov (+110)
- Omari Akhmedov (-105) vs Zak Cummings (-115)
- Joanne Calderwood (+190) vs Andrea Lee (-225)
- Leron Murphy (+425) vs Zubaira Tukhugov (-555)
- Don Madge (-190) vs Fares Ziam (+165)
Only three of these prelim fights have anything close to even betting odds, which are also the only ones to offer betting value on the surface. The rest of the prelim fights have sizable favorites and large disparities in UFC betting odds.
In reality, those placing UFC 242 bets will have to risk more money to win on a betting favorite or try to find the underdog that can pull off the upset. As we get closer to UFC 242, I’ll breakdown potential underdogs worthy of a flier along with my complete betting guide to the PPV event.