UFC 209 Main Card Betting Odds & Predictions
In the Woodley-Thompson main event, the challenger is a -150 favorite on MMA odds. The over/under is 2.5 rounds for the scheduled five-rounder. In their first meeting at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, Woodley and Thompson engaged in a memorable Fight of the Night battle that left fans at Madison Square Garden on their feet and three judges unable to come up with a winner. It was ruled a majority draw, with Woodley thus keeping his title.
Thompson emerged as a contender on the strength of seven straight wins in one of the toughest divisions in the game. Woodley had to deal with Thompson’s awkward and fight-finishing striking, but he passed the test. Woodley had a tremendous opening round, scoring a takedown and working Thompson over from top position with a mix of powerful punches and elbows.
In the second and third, Thompson took over, as he kept Woodley backpedaling, often against the fence, and darting in and out with well-mixed combos. But in the fourth round, Woodley landed a right hook to the forehead of Thompson that rocked the challenger, who was able to survive the ensuing onslaught as well as a deep guillotine submission.
After inexplicably pulling ring announcer Bruce Buffer out of the cage, the commission incorrectly read the fight result as a split-decision victory for Woodley. But the scores — a pair of 47-47s and a 48-47 for Woodley — was a majority draw. Woodley (16-5- 1) stayed unbeaten in his past four at 3-0- 1 and Thompson (13-1- 1) unbeaten in his past eight and 7-0- 1.
The UFC lightweight champion is Conor McGregor, but it’s not clear when or even if he will return to the UFC. McGregor is taking an extended break as he awaits the birth of his first child. McGregor has also demanded a meeting with the UFC’s new ownership at WME-IMG as he wants a piece of the company. Then you have the whole Floyd Mayweather fight potential.
Nurmagomedov (24-0) is coming off a one-sided submission victory over Michael Johnson at UFC 205 in November. Ferguson (22-3) is riding a nine-fight winning streak, including a decision win over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Nurmagomedov is a -200 favorite for Saturday with an over/under of 3.5 rounds. I actually think he would beat McGregor. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson had been scheduled to fight twice previously, but each guy had to pull out due to injury.
Also on the card is a heavyweight fight between third-ranked Alistair Overeem (41-15) and No. 8 Mark Hunt (12-11- 1). Hunt has not fought since a decision loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 on July 9. After that bout, it came to light Lesnar had failed multiple drug tests around the event, including one taken June 28. Overeem is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight title fight at UFC 203 in September. Before the loss, Overeem had won four consecutive bouts. Overeem beat Hunt way back in 2008 in Japanese promotion DREAM in 2008.