This Saturday, the UFC will take over Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena with the highly-anticipated UFC 203.
The card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Cleveland-based champion Stipe Miocic and decorated challenger Alistair Overeem. The co-main event, meanwhile, will see former heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum attempt to get back on track against a late replacement in Travis Browne—a man he defeated back in 2014. The remaining main card, meanwhile, will see WWE star CM Punk make his MMA debut against dangerous prospect Mickey Gall, while bantamweight prospect Jimmie Rivera takes a big step up against Urijah Faber, and strawweight contenders Jessica Andrade and Joanne Calderwood battle to take another step up the ladder.
Here’s a quick rundown of the betting odds for this stacked card.
In advance of his main event clash with Overeem, Miocic has been identified as a -135 favorite. This means it would require a successful, $135-bet on Miocic to win $100. Overeem, meanwhile, is currently sitting around +115, depending on which sportsbook you’re using. This means that a successful $100 bet on him will earn you $115.
The co-main event will be a much less competitive affair, if the odds are to be believed. Former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum has been pegged as a -225 favorite by most sources, while Browne, who he handily defeated back in 2014, is hovering around +185.
The odds also suggest that CM Punk’s widely criticized jump to MMA will not go as planned. The former WWE champion is identified by most sources as a +350 dog, while Gall, his far younger adversary, is viewed as a sizeable, -440 betting favorite.
The first two bouts of the main card, finally, are both coin-flips—at least as far as the odds are concerned. 19-1 bantamweight prospect Jimmie Rivera is favored to beat Urijah Faber—but only slightly, as he’s sitting around -125 while Faber is pegged as a +105 dog. Brazilian strawweight Jessica Andrade, meanwhile, is expected to leave Cleveland with a win over Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood, though the odds-makers don’t seem especially confident. Andrade is a slight, -125 favorite, and Calderwood has been identified in the area of a +105 dog by most sources.
And then, there’s the undercard.
Most books expect Jessica Eye (-125) to defeat former title challenger Bethe Correia (+105) in their preliminary bantamweight bout. Nik Lentz (-400) is a sizable favorite over Michael McBride (+310), who has stepped up on short notice to replace an injured Mairbek Taisumov. Middleweight veteran Brad Tavares (-170) is expected to defeat Brazil’s Caio Magalhaes (+150). Long-time flyweight contender Ian McCall (-120), who is returning to action after well over a year on the sidelines, has been given a slight edge over 23-year-old prospect (Ray Borg) +100. Hawaii’s Yancy Medeiros (-140), who is moving up to welterweight after a long run at lightweight, is a slight favorite over the underdog Sean Spencer (+120). TUF veteran CB Dolloway (-170), meanwhile, has the odds-makers’ confidence in his light heavyweight debut against Brazil’s Francimar Barroso (+150). And finally, in the evening’s first bout, lightweight Drew Dober (-160) has been pegged as a favorite over the debuting Jason Gonzales (+140).
The important thing to remember as we consider the lines for UFC 203’s 12 exciting bouts, however, is that no card is complete without a few upsets. That means that a few underdogs are likely to walk away with big wins in Cleveland—odds be damned.
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