Justin Gaethje has opened as a slight betting favorite over Michael Chandler in their upcoming lightweight showdown.
According to online sportsbook BetOnline, the Highlight is currently the -140 odds on favorite to beat the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion who came back at +120 when the lines first opened:
Here are the opening odds for Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler:
Justin Gaethje -140 (5/7) Michael Chandler +120 (6/5)
Both Gaethje and Chandler have agreed to fight each other at UFC 268. The event does not yet have an official date and venue but it is being targeted for November 6th at the Madison Square Garden in New York. The only other known bout for that event is the headliner which is the welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
Khabib Submits Gaethje
Gaethje has not fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov via submission at UFC 254 last October in a bout for the unified UFC lightweight championship. The Highlight became interim lightweight champion when he knocked out Tony Ferguson in a virtuoso performance at UFC 249 in May 2020.
Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were supposed to fight for the undisputed lightweight title in that event but COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented Khabib from going to the United States. Gaethje took the fight on short notice and he went on to become interim champion before attempting and failing to unify the belt against Khabib five months later.
The former WSOF lightweight champion wanted another crack at the belt when Khabib retired after their fight and left the title vacant. However, the UFC ordered then no. 1 Charles Oliveira to fight Chandler who had then not fought a single UFC bout. Gaethje ended up becoming the backup fighter for the Oliveira vs Chandler bout.
Oliveira Knocks out Chandler
Chandler suffered a second-round knockout loss to Oliveira in their fight for the vacant lightweight title. Oliveira is now being eyed to fight Dustin Poirier in his first title defense later this year after Poirier defeated Conor McGregor via TKO in their rematch at UFC 264 last July 11th.
Meanwhile, Chandler and Gaethje began their war of words on social media. The two have been going on and off at each other outside the cage since Chandler got the Oliveira bout instead of Gaethje. Last month, Chandler accused Gaethje of ducking him three or four times. Of course, the tough Gaethje denied Chandler’s claims. Now the UFC has finally booked the two of them to a crucial lightweight fight that will settle their differences.
The winner of this bout will likely earn a title shot against whoever wins between Oliveira and Poirier. He will most probably get the next crack at the belt if Oliveira beats Poirier. However, if the Diamond beats Do Bronx, there is a possibility that Conor McGregor could skip the line and fight Poirier again.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...
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