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UFC 223: Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Fri, Apr 6, 9:02am by Staff Writer

The UFC heads to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York this weekend for the fourth pay-per-view event of the year for the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion.

For the third consecutive time, the headline bout has once again required a change, which was originally set to be the highly anticipated lightweight title clash between interim champion Tony Ferguson and unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Unfortunately for fight fans Ferguson was forced to pull out of the bout last Sunday after a suffering a freak injury that saw him tear the LCL in his knee.

Despite the late cancellation, the promotion were able to secure a replacement opponent for Nurmagomedov who will now do battle with featherweight champion Max Holloway for the vacant lightweight title.

Current champion Conor McGregor will be stripped of his belt once the two combatants take to the octagon on Saturday night US time (Sunday afternoon AEST) after not defending his title for over 500 days since he captured it in UFC 205 back in November 2016. Ferguson will also lose his ‘interim’ lightweight champion status.

Possessing an imposing 25-0 fight record, Khabib has been an unstoppable force in his MMA career to date and will head into the fight an overwhelming $1.22 favourite against Holloway who is rated a $4.30 chance for victory.

The co-main event for the night will be a rematch of the UFC 217 women’s strawweight title fight between new champion Rose Namajunas and deposed titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

With Jedrzejczyk being one of the most dominant champions in the UFC over the past couple of years, Namajunas victory at UFC217 was considered one of the upsets of 2017. However the manner of her victory was incredibly decisive, scoring a TKO, 3:03 in round one of the scheduled five round clash.

Jedrzejczyk will head into the rematch a $1.81 favourite with Namajunas priced at $2.00. Despite the underdog status, the new champion is a great chance to defend her title here.

The remainder of the card is filled with many terrific matchups and big names within the promotion including Michael Chiesa, Al Iaquinta and Joe Lauzon to name a few.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway are two of the hottest fighters within the UFC in recent years with both fighters being dominant within their respective divisions.

The fact that Holloway has to go up 10 pounds to compete at 155 pounds in less than a week’s notice, victory here appears a monumental task for the featherweight champion.

But don’t expect a quick night’s work for Khabib who will be made to earn the lightweight title in a real battle with the fight to be decided in the championship rounds.

Suggested Bet: Khabib Nurmagomedov to win in Round 4 @ $10

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