Khamzat Chimaev remains betting favorite to hold title at end of year despite Dricus du Plessis’ win at UFC 297

Khamzat Chimaev betting favorite to hold title at end of 2024 after UFC 297

Unbeaten middleweight berserker, Khamzat Chimaev remains a significant betting favorite to hold the divisional crown at the end of the year – despite Dricus du Plessis’ championship win at UFC 297 over the weekend against Sean Strickland in Canada. 

Chimaev, the current number nine ranked middleweight contender, improved to 13-0 as a professional back in October of last year at UFC 294, landing a close, majority decision win over former undisputed welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman over the course of three rounds.

Striking middleweight gold at UFC 297 over the course of the weekend in ‘The Great White North’, promotional-perfect contender, du Plessis landed a close split decision win of his own over defending champion, Strickland – achieving Octagon spoils for the first time in his four year tenure in the promotion. 

Khamzat Chimaev betting favorite to hold title at end of 2024

And despite his victory, du Plessis is currently behind the undefeated, Chimaev on the betting lines to hold the undisputed middleweight champion at the end of 2024 – drawing odds of +150 – with the unbeaten Chechen currently boasting odds of +100 to hold gold at the end of the year.

Markets globally are offering not just outright odds on the winner of bouts, but a host of the best offshore betting offers interesting prop wagers and bets – including the chances of certain fighters winning titles, or even holding them at the end of December this year. 

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Staking his claim for the next shot at middleweight gold even prior to UFC 297 in Canada, Chimaev was immediately rebuffed by both Strickland and new-champion, du Plessis.

And taking in the night’s action in Toronto, Khamzat Chimaev called for an immediate championship fight with du Plessis, warning him against running from his challenge, however, has been once more rebuffed by the South African gold holder.

“Who takes that guy [Khamzat Chimaev] seriously?” Dricus du Plessis questioned assembled media after UFC 297. 

Appearing to favor a potential fight with former two-time middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya in an immediate grudge fight – as soon as UFC 300 in April, Chimaev has also been linked with a fight against the City Kickboxing maestro, however, is still recovering from a recent surgical procedure to address a hand ligament injury suffered against Usman – as well as a mysterious illness he contracted following the bout. 

The third most likeliest fighter to hold middleweight gold at the end of 2024 comes in the form of Adesanya himself – who would become the first-ever three-time divisional titleholder with a victory before the turn of the annum.

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Boasting odds of +300, Adesanya sits slightly higher than the uber-prospect, Bo Nickal – who beats out the likes of former champion, Sean Strickland, as well as Ikram Aliskerov, as well as Robert Whittaker – and former kingpin, Alex Pereira, with odds of +4,500 falling beside the Brazilian.

Slated to make his comeback at UFC 299 in March, Nickal, who has landed dominant stoppages in his Octagon debut and sophomore outing, is set to take on Cody Brundage in a main card slot on the flagship return to ‘The Sunshine State’ later this year – holding odds currently of +550 to hold the middleweight belt at the end of the year. 

And speaking of former champion, Pereira, the GLORY Kickboxing Hall of Fame inductee has already flirted with the potential of a future fight with the newly-minted, du Plessis in a bid to avenge training partner, Strickland – claiming he would be open to one final “rodeo” at the middleweight limit.

Pereira’s claims come hot on the heels of aspirations of two-weight coronation for Pretoria favorite, du Plessis, who claimed he would make the light heavyweight limit for the chance of taking out Pereira in a championship pairing in the immediate aftermath, should he defeat Strickland at UFC 297. 

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Knocked back in his pursuit of his first title tilt since his move to the UFC from Middle Eastern promotion, Brave CF back in 2020, AllStars MMA staple, Khamzat Chimaev has gone on a run recently of calling out any and all newly-crowned champions – from the likes of Pereira, du Plessis, and welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards.

Just last week, Chimaev also labelled a potential bout with heavyweight best, Jon Jones a “dream” bout for him – in a bid to get revenge for Swedish veteran and teammate, Alexander Gustafsson in the future – with Jones quickly knocking back the former’s advances. 

However, despite du Plessis’ reluctance to offer Khamzat Chimaev a crack at his newly-minted championship off the back of UFC 297, the Chechen contender – who has been urged to land more notable victories within succession without so much time away from the Octagon, is riding the shortest line to hold the middleweight strap come the conclusion of 2024 – in what could prove to be a massive year ahead for one of the promotion’s most dominant recent performers.