THE MMA kingdom got rocked on Sunday as UFC 196 produced more questions than answers with both overwhelming favourites, Conor McGregor and Holly Holm, suffering defeat.
What was initially billed as an easy fight for Women’s Bantamweight title holder Holly Holm, quickly become a nightmare as perennial title contender Miesha Tate submitted Holm in the fifth and final round.
The bookmakers gave Tate little chance of beating the boxing and kickboxing champion, but Holm couldn’t defend Tate’s takedown strategy. Tate winning in the fifth round has shaken up the market in the women’s division and the planned Holm vs. Rousey sequel will have to wait for another day.
Miesha Tate is on top of the world now, but just how long will her reign last? Sportsbet.com.au believe it won’t see out 2016, which could be the truth if Tate enters the octagon against Rousey for her third title fight.
Rousey has decimated Tate in two previous title defenses and Sportsbet have Rousey as the $1.83 favourite to be holding the title come the end of 2016. Tate is on the second line of betting at $2.70, but she will likely have to fight either Holm or Rousey within the next few months and her chances of retaining her belt aren’t overly great.
Holly Holm looked one dimensional against Tate and a shadow of the fighter that defeated Ronda Rousey a few months prior. Holm is $4.33 to have the title come January 1, 2017 and we could see this title bounce around these three girls, depending on who fights who.
Sportsbet is also offering odds on the other fighters in this division. Cat Zingano is at $36 on the same line as Amanda Nunes. Both fighters will have an even chance against Tate or Holm, but both have suffered humiliating losses against Rousey.
The future for Conor McGregor is also up in the air after he suffered a loss via submission to Nate Diaz. McGregor stepped well up in weight to take the fight after Jose Also pulled out of their planned fight. He was then scheduled to take on Dos Anjos, but again that was cancelled before Diaz stepped in on 11 days notice.
Bookmakers aren’t sure which weight grade McGregor will continue to fight in and the market for “who will McGregor fight first after UFC 196” makes for interesting reading.
Who will Conor McGregor fight next?
It seems everyone wants to fight Conor McGregor, but no one actually fronts up when the fight is scheduled. Sure, Jose Aldo and Rafael Dos Anjos had their reasons for pulling out, but when Aldo talks smack about McGregor losing after the right, that just adds fuel to the fire.
Aldo called McGregor a “pussy” despite the fact Aldo pulled out of their fight. Make sense? It doesn’t, but this will make a McGregor vs. Aldo fight even more interesting. Aldo is the favourite to fight McGregor next with Frankie Edgar and Dos Anjos sitting just in behind.
Jose Aldo – $2.20
Frankie Edgar – $2.50
Rafael Dos Anjos – $7.00
Donald Cerrone – $10
Robbie Lawler – $21
Any Other – $26
Joe Duffy – $51
Chad Mendes – $76
Max Holloway – $91
Ricardo Iamas – $91
Floyd Mayweather Jnr – $151
McGregor is known to be a ‘cash cow’ in the UFC and he recorded the highest paying salary for his UFC 196 fight. On that basis, we can see him taking a fight with either Aldo or Edgar for pay-per-view reasons.
We know McGregor would rather redeem himself in the higher weight divisions and dropping back down might be seen as the easy way out now, but it’s all about the money. Fighting Dos Ajnos or Donald ‘cowboy’ Cerrone would be good to watch as both have a distinctive size advantage over McGregor, but we don’t think Dana White and the UFC would make such a fight.
The McGregor vs. Mayweather option at $151 can only be a fantasy at this point. We would put a $1 on that option as a joke if it wasn’t paying $1001, but sorry, not at those odds!
UFC light heavyweight title holder market
Another popular weight division in UFC is the light heavyweight division and Jon Jones in particular. The controversial fighter has been sitting on the sidelines after a recreation drug use suspension, but he remains the firm favourite to be holding the title come 2017.
In a tough and hotly-contested division, Jones will get pressure primarily from Daniel Cormier who fights Jones on April 24, 2016.
Jones is the $1.30 favourite at CrownBet.com.au to defeat Cormier and if successful, punters that have backed Jones to hold the title for all of 2016 will be happy.
Anthony Johnson and Alex Gustafsson are making their waves in the light heavyweight division, but both look on a lower level than Jones who would have been the polarising figure in the UFC had he not gone awry outside of the octagon.
Jones is $1.50 to hold the title and we think that’s a good bet.
Jon Jones – $1.50
Daniel Cormier – $3.10
Anthony Johnson – $8.00
Alex Gustafsson – $13
Glover Teixeira – $34
Ovince St Preux – $91
Ryan Bader – $91
Rashad Evans – $101
Mauricio Rua – $151
Quinton Jackson – $226
Jimi Manuwa – $276
Corey Anderson – $276
Patrick Cummins – $401
Fabio Maldonado – $501
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