UFC

Islam Makhachev Sits As Massive Betting Favorite Over Dan Hooker Ahead Of UFC 267 Clash

It may not come as a surprise to most — Islam Makhachev is currently sitting as quite the sizeable betting favorite over short-notice replacement, Dan Hooker ahead of the pair’s eagerly-anticipated UFC 267 showdown later this month on ‘Fight Island’.

American Kickboxing Academy trainee, Makhachev, was initially scheduled to meet with former undisputed lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos in a third attempted pairing of the two, until a recent arthroscopy procedure to address a meniscus injury ruled the Niteroi native from proceedings.

Following initial attempts to secure a matchup with former interim champion, Tony Ferguson, Makhachev has since booked a stunning short-notice pairing with Hooker — who makes an applauded turnaround on a month’s notice since his UFC 266 unanimous decision victory over Nasrat Haqparast.

In spectacular fashion, Hooker agreed to step in on just a month’s notice, as well as give up his return voucher to his native New Zealand — following travel implications brought into place in his native land in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Makhachev, who has already nabbed a pair of impressive submission victories of his own this year, opened as a significant betting favorite over Hooker upon the confirmation of the bout, and according to SportsBetting.ag — at the time of publication, the Makhachkala native is currently sitting as a sizeable -700 betting favorite over his Auckland lightweight compatriot.

For Hooker, coming in as a big underdog, the City Kickboxing is currently landing at +450 in many books, with the majority of punts appearing to favor the grappling ability of Makhachev over the kickboxing prowess of Hooker at this moment.

At the time of publication, Makhachev is currently the biggest betting favorite on the card, with the duo of championship bouts featuring Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen, as well as Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira currently floating at much closer odds.

Headlining for the first time in his UFC tenure back in July, Makhachev stopped American Top Team grappler Thiago Moises in a short-notice main event slot at UFC Vegas 31 — stopping the Brazilian with a fourth round rear-naked choke.

In his first win of this year, Makhachev returned triumphantly for the first time since September 2019 — finishing Elevation Fight Team staple, Drew Dober with a third round arm-triangle in a one-sided UFC 259 matchup back in March.

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Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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