UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be looking to extend his unblemished professional MMA record to 29-0 when he defends his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 as a heavy -300 favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The UFC has been shut down since staging UFC Fight Night 170 last weekend in Brasilia, and has yet to determine a venue for the marquee Ferguson vs. Khabib card on April 18.
Originally scheduled to take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the widening COVID-19 pandemic is expected to force UFC 249 to take place without fans in attendance, and has also led to the cancellation of three other UFC events. However, with scheduled clashes between Khabib and Ferguson getting canceled on four previous occasions, the UFC and MMA fans alike are eager to see this highly-anticipated contest finally take place.
Khabib has been idle since unifying the UFC lightweight title with a third-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 as a -450 wager at betting sites. That win came on the heels of his controversial victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, which dramatically raised his profile in the MMA world.
The 31-year-old Russian has finished opponents in 18 of his 28 victories including eight wins by submission, but has also gone the distance in six of his 12 fights since joining the UFC in 2012. However, Khabib has enjoyed limited experience fighting into championship rounds, with just two of his 28 career fights going beyond three rounds.
Ferguson is set to enter the octagon as a +230 underdog on the UFC 249 odds. The 36-year-old American claimed the interim UFC lightweight title with a third-round submission win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216 as a -280 favourite, and was set to put his belt on the line against Khabib at UFC 223. But a serious knee injury suffered just days before their clash scuttled those plans, and led to him being stripped of the title.
Despite that misfortune, Ferguson has remained dominant, posting wins in 12 straight fights while finishing opponents on nine occasions, and earning performance bonuses in seven of his past eight outings.
Elsewhere on the UFC 249 odds, Rose Namajunas will make her first octagon appearance in 11 months as she battles Jessica Andrade as -185 chalk. As well, featherweight Calvin Kattar takes on Jeremy Stephens as a -240 betting favourite, while Ronaldo Souza faces Uriah Hall as -150 chalk in a middleweight clash.
Namajunas has been idle since losing her UFC women’s strawweight crown to Andrade at UFC 237, while Andrade is pegged as a +150 underdog as she aims to rebound from her stunning first-round loss to current champion Zhang Weili at UFC Fight Night 157.