The women will be in the spotlight when the UFC returns to Fight Island on Saturday, with former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm taking on Irene Aldana as a slim -125 favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Holm rose to the top of the women’s bantamweight division with a stunning victory over Ronda Rousey, but has struggled since, winning just three of her past eight contests going into Saturday night’s bout at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Holm enjoyed a brief championship reign, following up her win over Rousey with a fifth-round submission loss to Miesha Tate at UFC 196. Holm also fell short in her bid to reclaim the women’s bantamweight crown, lasting just over four minutes against Amanda Nunes. But she quickly rebounded, claiming a three-round unanimous decision victory over Raquel Pennington earlier this year at UFC 246 as a -160 wager.
Aldana puts a two-fight win streak on the line as she enters the octagon as a -105 underdog at online sports betting sites. The 32-year-old Mexican finished Ketlen Vieira with a first-round knockout last time out at UFC 245, paying out as +195 chalk and claiming the fourth Performance of the Night bonus of her career.
However, with underdogs not faring well at UFC Fight Island, Aldana faces an added challenge on Saturday. Betting favourites have emerged victorious in 69% of Fight Island matchups, with almost 55% of all fights at the Flash Forum being decided by the judges.
Another clash of UFC women’s bantamweight veterans has Germaine de Randamie battling Julianna Pena as a -150 wager. De Randamie makes her return after coming out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against reigning champion Nunes at UFC 245, ending a five-fight win streak that featured a pair of first-round finishes.
Pena returns to the octagon following a 15-month layoff sporting +120 odds. Pena outlasted Nicco Montano in her last outing at UFC Fight Night 155, earning a three-round unanimous decision as a -240 favourite. The 31-year-old has won five of her past six fights, with each of her past three wins coming by decision.
Elsewhere on the UFC odds, Yorgan de Castro looks to rebound from his recent loss to Greg Hardy as he battles fellow heavyweight Carlos Felipe as a heavy -250 favourite. Felipe is coming off the first defeat of his pro MMA career, a majority decision loss to Sergey Spivak in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 172, but is +195 to stage the upset on Saturday night.