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Odds Heavily Favor Khabib Over Gaethje After Impressive Victory Over Ferguson

Cole Shelton

by Cole Shelton in Mixed Martial Arts

May 10, 2020 · 8:12 AM PDT

justin gaethje
  • Justin Gaethje put on a clinic over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249
  • Gaethje will now fight Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year
  • See if we think the champ should be this big of a favorite

For most Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans they will say Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is the most anticipated fight in company history. Yet, after UFC 249, it appears the ‘cursed’ fight may never happen after Justin Gaethje beat Ferguson by fifth-round TKO to win the interim lightweight title.

With Gaethje winning, he will battle Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title sometime in the summer or fall. Although it is not Khabib-Ferguson, it should be a phenomenal fight where personally, I think it is a very close fight, but one sportsbook who opened the odds saw the undefeated Dagestani champion as a very sizeable favorite.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje Odds

Fighter Odds
Khabib Nurmagomedov -285
Justin Gaethje +245

*Odds Taken May 10

Should Khabib Be This Big of a Favorite?

Although the odds already seem high, they originally opened as Khabib Nurmagomedov at a -350 favorite, so already people are betting the underdog.

Right after the fight ended and Gaethje won, I started to think of how the odds for Khabib-Gaethje would be and I settled at Khabib Nurmagomedov at a -225 favorite. So, to see the champ open as a -350 favorite, is very surprising and I really don’t agree with those odds at all.

First off, Gaethje has legitimate one-punch knockout power and only needs one right hand to shut Nurmagomedov’s lights out. But, where he can have success is in his wrestling. There is no question the champ will look to wrestle, and although Gaethje hasn’t shown off his wrestling, “The Highlight” is a former Division-1 All-American college wrestler.

So, many believe Gaethje could very well stuff the takedowns and on the feet, he is by far the superior fighter and has more power.

Did Gaethje Get Ferguson at a Good Time?

Immediately, after the fight, many pointed to Ferguson cutting weight twice in a short period of time and preparing for Khabib Nurmagomedov as a reason why he lost. It could very well be a factor, but Gaethje just has the perfect gameplan. He used his killer leg kicks, and since his UFC debut, he is no longer a brawler and is a very smart technical fighter.

Although Ferguson says he prepares for multiple opponents at once, I do think Gaethje got Ferguson at a good time training for Nurmagomedov. If “El Cucuy” focused on Gaethje, it could be a very different fight, so perhaps The Highlight got Ferguson at a good time.

How Will The Odds Change?

I think Gaethje will get a lot of love at the betting window ahead of his undisputed title fight against Nurmagomedov.

Already, you’ve seen the odds go down for -350 to -285 and I suspect we will see that drop even more. Many fighters in the lightweight division have said for years Gaethje is the hardest matchup for Nurmagomedov due to his striking and wrestling background.

By the time the two fight, I believe we will see Khabib Nurmagomedov as only a -250 favorite, but you still have to have the champ as a sizeable favorite. But, at these current odds, I think Gaethje is the best bet.

Pick: Justin Gaethje (+245)

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