Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If Islam Makhachev does fight for the UFC lightweight title next, it appears he’ll do so as a massive betting favorite.

Following his first-round rout of Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49, Makhachev opened as more than a 4-to-1 favorite to defeat UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in a potential showdown between two of the best talents at 155 pounds. Internet bookmaker BetOnline set the opening line behind Makhachev at -415 odds, while Oliveira was introduced as a +345 betting underdog, meaning a $100 bet on Oliveira would pay out $345 if the hypothetical fight took place and the Brazilian champion was able to defeat Makhachev.

Oliveira is currently a slight betting favorite (-155) to successfully defend his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje (+135) on May 7 at UFC 274.

Makhachev (22-1) has won 10 consecutive UFC fights, a run highlighted by victories over Dan Hooker, Green, Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, and Arman Tsarukyan. His last four wins have ended in stoppages, including his three-minute TKO of Green this past Saturday.

Oliveira (32-8, 1 NC) has also won 10 consecutive UFC fights. He captured the vacant lightweight belt last year with a second-round knockout of Michael Chandler then defended it as a betting underdog with a third-round submission of Dustin Poirier at UFC 269.


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