Monday, August 15, 2022

Nate Maness: Nurmagomedov Name Has Skewed Odds Disrespectfully

UFC bantamweight Nate Maness believes that more than just the perception of his matchup against Umar Nurmagomedov has gone into forming the lopsided odds for their fight.

While tonight’s card perhaps lacks the star power and name-value of the last two, UFC 275 and UFC Austin, the promotion’s return to Las Vegas’ Apex facility is still bringing some intriguing matchups along with it, one of which pits in-form 135-pound prospects Maness and Nurmagomedov together.

With a combined record of 28-1, the pair are certainly two of the more notable rising bantamweights, with one looking to take a step closer to the rankings at the other’s expense.

For Maness, his UFC Vegas 57 appearance will mark his fourth walk to the Octagon. “Mayhem,” a former TKO Bantamweight Champion, has gone 3-0 under the UFC banner. After debuting with a unanimous decision victory over Johnny Muñoz Jr., Maness extended his overall win streak to four with a pair of second-round finishes against Luke Sanders and Tony Gravely.

But despite his unblemished UFC record and two-fight stoppage streak, Maness will enter his fourth Octagon outing as a sizable underdog. On, the Tennessee native sits at +650, while Umar, the younger cousin of GOAT contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, holds favorite status at an eyebrow-raising -1200.

While he acknowledged his opponent’s talent during his appearance at UFC Vegas 57 media day, Maness did suggest that the majorly-lopsided odds, which he branded as “disrespectful,” are down to the fact he’s fighting a Nurmagomedov, rather than a gap in skill.

“He’s great. I don’t think anyone can watch him and say that he’s not great. (But), you know, the odds show a little bit disrespectful towards my side I think,” said Maness. “(It’s) just ’cause of that last name. I’m coming to fight… these are the fights I want.

“I think it’s good for my friends. Man, they’ve made all kinds of money since I’ve been in the UFC. So, it’s all good,” added Maness. “I mean, (Nurmagomedov) is great, he’s a great fighter. I don’t have too many bad things to say about Umar.”

While some would agree with Maness’ assessment of Nurmagomedov’s -1200 line, the Dagestani has certainly justified the hype surrounding him so far in the UFC.

In two appearances, the 26-year-old has extended his unblemished professional résumé to 14-0 courtesy of a pair of rear-naked choke submission victories over Sergey Morozov and Brian Kelleher.

While Maness is expecting to give the AKA product his toughest test to date tonight, Nurmagomedov will be targeting another dominant performance and an ascension closer to the top 15 as he looks to following in the footsteps of his older cousin.

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC Vegas 57, Nate Maness or Umar Nurmagomedov?

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