Earlier this week, Alexander Volkanovski announced that he would be flying to UFC 280 as an alternate for the main event. Oddsmakers quickly jumped on the development, releasing betting odds for Volkanovski against both Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira. Surprising to some, the top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter comes in as the underdog in both potential fights.
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Of course, this is only applicable if either Oliveira or Makhachev are forced to withdraw from the original bout, yet MMA fans know how unpredictable the sport can be. Just one PPV card ago, all three of the final fights were shuffled just a day prior to the event at UFC 279.
If Volkanovski should step in, oddsmakers are giving him an underdog shot at Makhachev, +300 to -400. This would mean a bet on Volkanovski of $100 would look to return a profit of $300, and it will cost $400 to win $100 on Makhachev. The odds are closer between Volkanovski and Oliveira, with Volkanovski once again the underdog, this time at +110. ‘Do Bronx’ is then the favorite at -140, meaning $100 on Volkanovski returns $110, and each $130 on Oliveira will return $100.
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Volkanovski, of course, is the current #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC today with four title defenses. After beating Max Holloway a third time last July, he quickly took the opportunity on the post-fight mic to call out Oliveira, who many consider the unofficial champion at Lightweight. A win over Makhachev or Oliveira in the event their fight falls apart could give Volkanovski a chance at joining the exclusive group of champions who have held belts in two weight classes simultaneously.
Here are the opening odds for the three fighter’s last five fights:
Alexander Volkanovski’s last five fights
- vs. Max Holloway (W): -146
- vs. Chan Sung Jung (W): -330
- vs. Brian Ortega (W): -185
- vs. Max Holloway (W): -190
- vs. Max Holloway (W): +175
Charles Oliveira’s last five fights
- vs. Justin Gaethje (W): -205
- vs. Dustin Poirier (W): +145
- vs. Michael Chandler (W): -178
- vs. Tony Ferguson (W): +110
- vs. Kevin Lee (W): -140
Islam Makhachev’s last five fights
- vs. Bobby Green (W): -450
- vs. Dan Hooker (W): -300
- vs. Thiago Moises (W): -500
- vs. Drew Dober (W): -400
- vs. Davi Ramos (W) -405
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.