One is a heavyweight legend, and one is a veteran light heavyweight who’s faced a who’s who of MMA notables in multiple divisions. But who wins?
We’ll found out in the semifinal round of Bellator’s yearlong heavyweight grand prix when Fedor Emelianenko (37-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) meets fellow opening-round tourney winner Chael Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA).
The opening odds are out for the matchup, which was set this past weekend when Emelianenko scored a first-round TKO win over Frank Mir in Bellator 198’s headliner. Sonnen had already punched his ticket to the semifinals after picking up a decision win over “Rampage” Jackson in January.
Now, they’re likely to meet on the East Coast – as part of an expected “stacked card” – though an official date isn’t set for their Final Four matchup. However, once they do get in the cage, Emelianenko will likely be a decent favorite at the sports books.
Noted MMA oddsmaker Joey Oddessa recently set the opening “Oddessa Line” for the fight, and Emelianenko is a -200 favorite while Sonnen is the +150 underdog.
Nearly two thirds of MMAjunkie readers are predicting a win for Emelianenko, but what about the sports books?
At the current odds, a winning $100 bet on Emelianenko would result in a net profit of $50 (implied win probability of 66.7 percent). Meanwhile, a winning $100 bet on Sonnen would score a profit of $150 (implied win probability of 40 percent).
Oddessa told MMAjunkie that the line should probably be even wider but that a steady flow of bets on Sonnen will likely keep the line pretty stable.
“It may take a round for him to get warmed up and silence the ‘USA! USA!’ chants, but eventually Fedor is going to stretch him,” Oddessa said. “The number is probably a little low, but they’ll still bet Chael.”
Emelianenko and Sonnen were both underdogs in their opening-round grand-prix matchups. Emelianenko, the longtime heavyweight king and former PRIDE champion, closed as a +125 ‘dog to Mir. Sonnen, a former UFC title challenger who now fights yet another MMA legend, closed at +170 against Jackson.
For complete coverage of Bellator 198, check out the MMA Eventssection of the site.
| Title: Bellator opening odds: Lines set for Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen
| Author: Dann Stupp and George Garcia-mmajunkie.com
| Date: May 4th 2018