How long can it last?
A few more fights? An entire career? Forever?
Or perhaps it all ends Saturday, an impressive undefeated streak smashed to bits by Justin Gaethje on a weekend afternoon.
There will be intrigue in every corner of the octagon when undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Gaethje on Saturday in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Khabib is a perfect 28-0 and hopes to keep his unblemished record intact. A title belt is on the line. And just in case that’s not enough, DraftKings Sportsbook is adding even more juice, giving new users 100-1 odds on either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje in the lightweight main event.
Heavy favorite Khabib returns big-time odds with DraftKings promotion
UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje starts surprisingly early, with early prelims at 11 a.m. and the main card beginning at 2 p.m. as a nod to Khabib’s Russian fans, who figure to be watching about seven hours ahead. Nurmagomedov is a strong favorite at -335 on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook.
But with the promotion, Khabib moves to 100-1 for new users. Here’s the fine print:
- First-time DraftKings Sportsbook depositors only (new users).
- You will be issued a single-use odds boost to choose either fighter in the event. The boost is for +10000 (100-1) odds for either fighter to win.
- Max $1 bet.
- Must be 21 years or older.
- One offer per player.
- Excludes free bets, cash-out bets, voided bets and odds boosts.
- Must be in PA, CO, IN, IA, IL, NJ or WV.
DraftKings has the main event total rounds set at 4.5
Oddsmakers seem to expect a longer title bout, with the fight’s over/under set at 4.5 rounds. This DK Nation preview has an excellent breakdown of the match. Khabib has an extensive wrestling background and excels at takedowns during his fights.
Gaethje was an All-American wrestler in college but has been more of a brawler in MMA, with some of the highest strikes per minute stats among all UFC fighters. Gaethje peppered Tony Ferguson with punches throughout his fifth-round TKO victory in May. And according to the DK Nation preview, none of Gaethje’s seven fights have gone the distance.
Gaethje is +270 on the moneyline at DraftKings. And it should be interesting to see what strategy wins out on Saturday. DraftKings has pricing available on each fighter’s winning round, with Gaethje’s odds jumping to +2500 in the fourth and +3300 in the fifth.
The odds on Nurmagomedov to win in any given round are much lower than Gaethje’s, but those bets still bring a much better return than a straight moneyline wager.
New DraftKings users can also get free access to a $60K DFS contest
Another promotion by DraftKings gives new daily fantasy users free access to a $60K contest with their first deposit. But existing DraftKings players won’t be forgotten either.
The $20 entry MMA 254 Special features a $500K prize pool and a top prize of $100K. And the $3 entry MMA Haymaker has a $60K prize pool and a first-place prize of $6,000.
FanDuel also has some DFS contests for Saturday’s action, including an $8.88 entry UFC Octagon with a grand prize of $125K.
Early UFC fights lead to a jam-packed Saturday
If you have a soft spot for betting action, your Saturday has the potential to be completely packed. The UFC 254 early prelims begin at 11 a.m. A solid college football slate begins at noon. And the UFC action continues all day.
If you’re looking to wager on some of the undercard fights, this DraftKings video preview with featherweight Billy Quarantillo has a breakdown of some of the earlier bouts.
But the biggest one should arrive right around dinnertime, and with 100-1 odds for some new users who are benefiting from a big promotion.
Will the heavy favorite come home? Will Khabib stay undefeated? Can the streak last? Or will the perfect record get smashed to bits?
It’s all worth watching. And maybe it warrants a wager, too.
Don’t miss it.