Rumors have started circulating which speculate that the UFC is targeting Khamzat Chimaev vs. Colby Covington at the co-main event for the UFC’s return to London next March. Not long after, oddsmakers were quick to release odds for the pair, with Chimaev the heavy favorite.
This comes after Chimaev released a tweet teasing that Covington is “next.” The two were originally a target matchup prior to UFC 279, when White stated he hoped to make the fight if Chimaev got through Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, which he ultimately did. The fight would have massive stakes as for Covington a win could earn him another title shot, this time against Leon Edwards, a fresh champion whom he is yet to meet. For Chimaev, being Covington who is ranked #2 in the world would also make a good argument for his quickly earned shot at the belt.
Chimaev has only been fighting in the UFC since July 2020, which means he would make one of the quicker runs to the title in UFC history with a win over Covington, and oddsmakers seem to believe in this reality. Chimaev has opened as a -200 favorite in the potential future event, with Covington a dog at +170. Since the rumors first materialized, the gap has started to close. On BetUS, the Chechnyan wrestler is currently at -160, and the American at +130.
What this means is a $160 bet on Chimaev returns $100 and $100 on Covington returns $130.
Both men have largely earned their success in the UFC to their extremely high-level wrestling, with Chimaev a multiple-time Swedish national champion and Covington a Division 1 All-American out of Oregon State. At #2 and #3 in the rankings and their similar fighting systems a clash between these two is a promised barn-burner, not to mention their brash personalities meeting in the possible lead-up.
Here are the opening odds for the pair’s last five fights:
Khamzat Chimaev’s last five fights:
- vs. Kevin Holland (W): -1000
- vs. Gilbert Burns (W): -110
- vs. Li Jingliang (W): -260
- vs. Gerald Meerschart (W): -500
- vs. Rhys McKee (W): -600
Colby Covington’s last five fights:
- vs. Jorge Masvidal (W): -190
- vs. Kamaru Usman (L): +190
- vs. Tyron Woodley (W): -250
- vs. Kamaru Usman (L): +170
- vs. Robbie Lawler (W): -175