UFC 203 is still quite a ways away, but the online wagering odds for the main event pitting heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic versus Alistair Overeem have already come in. Here are the UFC betting odds for the bout to take place September 10th at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio:
Alistair Overeem - 1½ (-110) +110
Stipe Miocic - 1½ (-110) -130
As we can see, the champ is the favorite to retain his title – which he won from Fabrício Werdum at UFC 198 on May 14th – against the Demolition Man. Miocic is 15-2 has won his three last matched, including two Performances of the Night. This will be the first UFC show in Cleveland, so the crowd will most likely be very pro-Miocic, a home town boy and local hero – literally speaking; he is a firefighter and paramedic in Oakwood and Valley View, Ohio. Of course, being the online wagering favorite and having the audience on your side does not guarantee victory, and no one knows that better than Miocic. After all, The Silencer was the underdog on that fateful night in Curitiba, Brazil when 45,207 local fans showered their fellow countryman Werdum with support.
In addition to that, 2016 could very well be considered the Year of the Underdog in the UFC. In addition to Miocic upsetting Werdum, Miesha Tate defeated Holly Holm, Michael Bisping beat Luke Rockhold, and Brock Lesnar conquered Mark Hunt following a five-year absence. Thus, UFC betting fans should not discount Overeem, who is 41-14 and has won his last four matches, including a win over Junior Dos Santos. The Dutch fighter has been a Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion, but this will be the first time that he challenges for UFC gold.
Something else that must be weighing on Miocic’s mind is the evanescent nature of the UFC heavyweight championship – not a single fighter has been able to defend it more than two times. And Overeem has predicted that the title will change hands again in the second round of the bout with Miocic. “Two,” said Overeem in an interview with TMZ Sports. “Not one, not three, two rounds.” Not that The Reem wanted to take anything away from the champ (except the belt of course). “He’s got excellent hands. He’s got his wrestling. He’s all-around. He’s a true champion,” the Dutchman said of his soon-to-be opponent.
Overeem knows what it’s like to be successful on home turf; he TKO’ed Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 87 in May 8th in Rotterdam in a Performance of the Night. That victory put Overeem in the championship conversation once again. He had previously lost a title eliminator match versus Antonio Silva at UFC 156 on February 2nd, 2013, but his recent consistency earned him the shot a Miocic’s belt. The last time that the Dutch fighter had some hardware around his waist was in 2011. Can he beat the online wagering odds and defeat the current champ for the strap? We’ll find out when UFC 203 rolls around.