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Francis Ngannou is a slight betting favorite in potential showdowns with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, according to oddsmaker BetOnline.
Ngannou opened as a -150 favorite against Jones (+130), the UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion. Jones has long teased an eventual move up to heavyweight, and “Bones” and Ngannou have recently gone back-and-forth on social media to stir up interest in the MMA community. While UFC president Dana White is currently skeptical that either man truly wants the fight, heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem said he believes Jones could ”definitely” beat Ngannou.
“The Predator” also opened as a slight favorite (-140) against former heavyweight king Cormier (+120). Although Cormier is currently waiting for a trilogy bout against reigning champion Stipe Miocic that could serve as his MMA farewell, he recently said he would be open to facing Ngannou if that fight did not come to fruition.
Both Ngannou vs. Jones and Ngannou vs. Cormier must take place at some point in 2020 for action to be valid.
After a two-fight losing streak in the first half of 2018, Ngannou has re-established himself as the heavyweight division’s most fearsome knockout artist with first-round finishes of Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last four Octagon appearances.
Widely regarded as the greatest light heavyweight of all time, Jones has yet to truly taste defeated in 28 mixed martial arts appearances — a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in 2009 notwithstanding. In his latest championship reign, the Jackson-Wink MMA product claimed the vacant belt with a TKO of Alexander Gustafsson before making successful defenses against Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes.
Cormier was an an eight-fight unbeaten streak — a loss to Jones at UFC 214 was overturned to a no contest — before he relinquished the heavyweight crown to Mioic in a fourth-round TKO loss at UFC 241 last August. Cormier has only lost to Miocic and Jones in 25 professional appearances.
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