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Stipe Miocic opens as betting underdog against Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones

Wait, I thought he was the baddest man on the planet?

UFC 226: Miocic v Cormier Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Fans (and pundits) are now referring to Stipe Miocic as the greatest heavyweight champion of all time, thanks to his title-retaining victory over former straphanger Daniel Cormier in the UFC 252 main event last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I guess the bookies weren’t paying attention.

Despite his reign atop the 265-pound mountain, Miocic opened as the betting underdog in prospective match ups against Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones. +175 against “The Predator” (-205) and +130 opposite “Bones” (-150).

That’s according to BetOnline (www.BetOnline.ag).

The line is a bit surprising when you consider that Miocic already defeated Ngannou in the UFC 220 headliner roughly two years back and Jones, the current light heavyweight champion, has not looked as dominant in recent years.

In the wake of Miocic’s victory over Cormier, the opportunistic Jones was hoping to cut the line and steal the next division title shot; however, UFC President Dana White shut that request down and confirmed Ngannou is on deck.

Miocic, who turns 38 later this week, improved to 20-3 with his UFC 252 performance and has now won eight of his last nine with six knockouts. Until Ngannou or Jones (or some other contender) can prove otherwise, those betting lines seem like a bargain.

Who’s buying?