It should come as no surprise that Khabib Nurmagomedov, a man who is undefeated through 28 professional fights, has opened as the betting favorite in his proposed title defense against Tony Ferguson.
According to online oddsmaker BetOnline, Nurmagomedov opened as a -250 favorite, while Ferguson checks in as a +210 underdog in the lightweight bout. By comparison, “The Eagle” opened as a -240 favorite in his most recent title defense, a third-round submission of Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. The Dagestani began as a -165 favorite for his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
On Monday, UFC president Dana White told ESPN that the promotion is targeting April for a championship clash between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. The contest would likely take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. According to the report, Nurmagomedov has already signed his bout agreement and is waiting on Ferguson to do the same.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to square off on four previous occasions, but the fight has fallen through for various reasons each time.
Nurmagomedov is 12-0 in the Las Vegas-based organization and has successfully defended his belt against Poirier and McGregor after claiming the vacant title with a decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. The 31-year-old Kickboxing Academy representative has lost just round — the third frame vs. McGregor — during his dominant UFC tenure.
Ferguson is currently on a 12-fight winning streak in the Octagon that includes triumphs over the likes of Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Kevin Lee, Rafael dos Anjos and Edson Barboza, among others. “The Ultimate Fighter 13” winner owns a 25-3 professional mark overall.