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Opening Odds for Volkanovski vs Holloway Have “Blessed” at +165 to Win Back Featherweight Title

Cole Shelton

by Cole Shelton in Mixed Martial Arts

Jun 9, 2020 · 5:53 PM PDT

The "Blessed Era" just started. Is it over already? Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License]
  • Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway will run it back at UFC 251
  • Volkanovski beat Holloway at UFC 245 to claim the featherweight title
  • How will the odds change in the lead up to the fight?

Earlier today, UFC president Dana White announced the full card for UFC 251, which is set to take place on “Fight Island” (a.k.a. YAS Island) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on July 11th. The card features three title fights including the rematch of Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway for the featherweight belt.

Also on the card are Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns for the welterweight title and Peter Yan vs Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title.

Volkanovski and Holloway fought at UFC 245 (Dec. 2019) where Volkanovski won by unanimous decision to claim the featherweight title. It was rumored thereafter that they would have an immediate rematch and now that is official. The opening odds have been released and Volkanovski opened is a sizeable favorite to defend his new strap.

Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway Odds

Fighter Odds
Alexander Volkanovski -190
Max Holloway +165

Odds taken June 9th. 

Should They Have an Immediate Rematch?

Volkanovski dominated Holloway at UFC 245. He won all five rounds on one judge’s scorecard and won 48-47 (three rounds to two) on the other two.

Since the fight was all Volkanovski many wondered if they should even have an immediate rematch. But “Blessed” is arguably the greatest featherweight of all-time and deserves a chance to reclaim his strap.

Volkanovski (21-1) is riding an 18-fight winning streak and is a perfect 8-0 inside the octagon. Before the win over Holloway, the Aussie beat Jose Aldo by decision and TKOed Chad Mendes. He also holds notable wins over Darren Elkins and Jeremy Kennedy.

Max Holloway (21-5) defended his featherweight title three times – against Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, and Frankie Edgar – before losing to Volkanovski. He also moved up to lightweight in between the Ortega and Edgar fights to compete for the interim belt. He came up short against Dustin Poirier (unanimous decision).

In his career, the Hawaiian has notable wins over Aldo (twice), Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Anthony Pettis, and Charles Oliveira, among others.

How Will The Odds Change?

The fight is still over a month away, so there is tons of time for the public to move this line. The opening odds are set a little high. There is no question Volkanovski should be favored the way he controlled the first fight. Yet, Holloway is a fan-favorite and someone the fans love to bet on. The fight also was not a blowout by any means. If Blessed can change a few things, like checking the leg kicks, the entire fight could change.

When the fight was announced I thought the line would be Volkanovski at -160 with the comeback on Holloway around +130 or +140. That way books would still get two-way action.

As is, I expect money to come in on Holloway and the line to drop. Meaning, if you like Holloway, the time to bet is now. But, if you like Volkanovski, wait closer to fight night when his odds should be a bit longer.

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