UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou is not the favorite in the opening betting odds for a title unification bout against Ciryl Gane.
The two behemoths have been set on a collision course after Gane’s interim title crowning at UFC 265 this past weekend. In the pay-per-view’s headliner, the Frenchman dominated Derrick Lewis in his hometown of Houston on the way to a third-round TKO victory.
Gane’s latest win ensured he joined an exclusive club of fighters who’ve had UFC gold wrapped around their waist as an unbeaten fighter. As names like Cain Velasquez, Israel Adesanya, and Khabib Nurmagomedov did before him, “Bon Gamin” has achieved title glory without a single blemish on his MMA record.
Perhaps that, along with his unique heavyweight style and ability to steer clear of his opponent’s shots, was the reason behind the initial odds for a unification bout against current heavyweight kingpin placing Gane as the favorite.
Despite sitting as a -190 favorite in June, which later fell to -175 last week, “The Predator” found himself as a +110 underdog in odds released by SportsBetting.ag earlier this week. That meant a $100 bet on the Cameroonian for the Octagon-shaking clash would have returned $110. Meanwhile, Gane was seen as the -130 favorite, which meant bettors would have to have laid down $130 on “Bon Gamin” in order to emerge with $100 from a victory for the Frenchman.
But after the betting community took full advantage of Ngannou’s odds, both moneylines transitioned to -110. That means that, currently, a $100 stake on either man would return $190.91.
Ngannou, who is widely regarded as one of the most powerful men in all of combat sports, won the heavyweight gold in a rematch against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 back in March. Having fallen to his first loss in the UFC against the former champ in 2018, the Cameroonian exacted his revenge with a brutal second-round knockout earlier this year.
Given his run since a defeat to Derrick Lewis three years ago, which has included five consecutive KOs, four of which came in the very first round, many would have been surprised by Ngannou’s initial underdog status heading into his first title defense, which explains why so many jumped on the chance to back “The Predator” as a dog.
But with the recent display of Gane’s technical style and middleweight-like speed against another of the division’s top powerhouses, the hype surrounding “Bon Gamin” is as high as ever, which certainly makes even money appropriate for their inevitable clash.
Who do you consider to be the favorite for this fight? Ciryl Gane or Francis Ngannou?