UFC 218 takes place Saturday in Detroit and Max Holloway will defend his featherweight title against Jose Aldo in a rematch in the main event. Holloway took the title from Aldo via third-round TKO at UFC 212 in June. UFC 218 betting odds understandably have Holloway the favorite at -290, with Aldo the underdog at +225, but it has been reported that Aldo had a leg injury going into their first fight, so we will find out indeed if it played a role in the inaugural UFC featherweight champ dropping his belt to Holloway. Aldo is known for his powerful leg kicks and was unable to fully utilize that weapon in their first encounter. However, Holloway is on an 11-fight winning streak, is six years younger than his opponent, and it may just be that Aldo has crossed past his prime.
In the UFC 218 co-main event we have powerful heavyweights Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem squaring off in a bout no one expects to go the distance. Overeem is known for his powerful striking and Ngannou has stopped every opponent he’s faced so far in the UFC. The betting odds have Ngannou the favorite at -235 and Overeem the underdog at +185. The 31-year-old Ngannou has only been competing professionally since 2013 and has only suffered one defeat — a decision loss in what was just his second pro fight. He has a LOT LESS miles on him, and a lot less miles on his chin, than does Overeem — who has been knocked out 10 times in his long career that spans nearly two decades. If it goes to the ground, Overeem will have a clear advantage, but here’s to hoping this one is a stand-and-bang fight.
Top tier flyweights Sergio Pettis and Henry Cejudo will also be part of UFC 218’s pay-per-view main card. Pettis is currently ranked No. 4 in the division, while Cejudo is ranked No. 2. Odds have the 2008 Olympic gold medalist Cejudo as the favorite at -300, with Pettis the underdog at +230. Pettis is currently on a four-fight winning streak but he may not be ready for what Cejudo is bringing to the table.
In lightweight action, former champion Eddie Alvarez will battle undefeated former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje. Gaethje had an amazing and exciting showing in his octagon debut against Michael Johnson in July and stopped him in the second round. Somewhat surprisingly, Gaethje is the favorite at -175, while Alvarez, who has much more experience and is willing to brawl with the best of them, is the underdog at +145. This is one you definitely don’t want to miss.
In the UFC 218 main card opener we have a women’s strawweight matchup between Tecia Torres and Michelle Waterson, who are ranked No. 5 and No. 6 in the division, respectively. Both ladies have losses to current champ Rose Namajunas, but Waterson is much more of a finisher than Torres. Torres is more of a grinder and has finished the vast majority of her fights by decision. Betting odds have Torres the favorite at -235, while Waterson is the underdog at +185.