Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez UFC odds: 'Showtime' opens as -180 favorite over 'El Nino' (+150)

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Surprised?

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) won't see a 155-pound title fight until the fall, as reigning division champion Anthony Pettis has signed on to coach The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 opposite former Strikeforce lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez.

But you knew that (I hope).

What you may not have known, is that "Showtime" has opened as the -180 favorite for their eventual showdown, which will likely occur in the weeks following their stint on the FOX Sports 1 reality show. "El Nino," by contrast, is currently a +150 underdog, according to our fiscal friends at Bovada.

Either way, that's a fairly close line, though I would not be surprised to see it shift as we get closer to fight night.

But in which direction?

Pettis (17-2) will be making his first title defense since capturing the crown from Ben Henderson last August. Melendez (22-3), meanwhile, is coming off his epic "Fight of the Night" against Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, and scored another shot at the strap by threatening to run to Bellator.

Sorry "Punk," but "El Nino" is here to stay.

It will be interesting to see how Melendez, who is a solid boxer with aggressive wrestling, approaches the striking game of Pettis, who has made a career out of lighting dudes up on the feet. It should be noted, that "Showtime" has been worked on the ground in previous fights.

Just not when the title is on the line.

Early predictions for this lightweight bangfest? And "someone will get injured" counts as a prediction.

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