Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and former UFC interim champion Dustin Poirier have both booked their next bouts, and both are entering as betting underdogs to the surprise of many. Oliveira is currently at in his UFC 300 bout against up-and-coming contender Arman Tsarukyan, while Poirier is at in his upcoming UFC 299 fight against Benoit Saint-Denis.
Read on for more odds and analysis on the newly scheduled UFC fights.
Poirier, Oliveira upcoming fight odds
Both Poirier and Oliveira were recently announced for the upcoming UFC 299 and UFC 300 fight cards, respectively. What surprised many observers was the fact that, even against opponents who have never fought for UFC titles, both veteran fighters are betting underdogs headed into these bouts.
UFC 299 odds: Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint-Denis
Poirier (29-8) has not fought since his knockout loss to Justin Gaethje in July in a fight for the UFC’s largely ceremonial “BMF” title. His fight against Saint-Denis (13-1) will be the first time since 2020 that Poirier has faced an opponent who has not fought for and/or won a UFC title.
Saint-Denis comes into the bout on a five-fight winning streak, but all against lesser competition. Poirier represents a big step up for him, both in experience and name value, and it will also be Saint-Denis’ first five-round fight in the UFC since debuting with the promotion in 2021. Poirier has closed as the betting favorite in each of his last four fights, winning half of those.
UFC 300 odds: Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Oliveira (34-9) last fought in June, when he won an emphatic victory over Beneil Dariush via TKO at UFC 289. He was then scheduled to rematch current UFC lightweight champ Islam Makhachev with the belt on the line at UFC 294, but he had to pull out of that bout due to a cut he suffered in training.
Tsarukyan (21-3) represents a slight step down in the rankings for the former lightweight champ Oliveira, but he’s also seen as a potential future title contender after winning three straight fights and eight of his last nine. Oliveira has closed as an underdog in four of his last six fights, but he won all but one of those, with the sole loss being the title fight against Makhachev at UFC 280 in 2022.
Upcoming UFC event odds and information
The UFC’s next pay-per-view event is UFC 297 on Jan. 20. That event is headlined by middleweight champion Sean Strickland () defending his title against challenger Dricus Du Plessis ().
Next up is UFC 298 on Feb. 17, headlined by featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski () versus Ilia Topuria ().
UFC 299, featuring Poirier versus Saint-Denis in a five-round co-main event, goes down on March 9. The main event for that pay-per-view is a bantamweight title bout with champion Sean O’Malley () taking on Marlon Vera ().
UFC 300 is scheduled for April 13. In addition to the fight between Oliveira and Tsarukyan, it’s expected to include a light heavyweight bout between former champ Jiri Prochazka () and Alexander Rakic ().