After all of the excitement and controversy that went down at UFC 264, the combat sports world is now turning its attention to UFC Vegas 31. The event is going down on Saturday, July 17 live from the Apex in Las Vegas, NV. The night will be headlined by a noteworthy lightweight bout between Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises.
Makhachev is the No. 9-ranked lightweight fighter in the UFC while Moises comes in at No. 14, so it’s clear that both men have a lot of work to do before challenging for Charles Oliveira’s championship. Nevertheless, a ton of eyes will be watching to see if either fighter puts the rest of the lightweight division on notice this Saturday.
Here’s a look at the odds heading into UFC Vegas 31, courtesy of BetOnline.
UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev (19-1-0) vs Thiago Moises (15-4-0) Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, July 13
- Moneyline: Moises (+450) vs Makhachev (-700)
- Total: 4.5 Rounds — Over (-155), Under (+125)
Makhachev Favored Heading Into Saturday
At -700 odds, Makhachev is the clear-cut favorite heading into his fight with Moises at UFC Vegas 31. After all, it’s tough to root against him. Makhachev has been virtually unstoppable since joining UFC back in 2015. He’s gone 8-1-0 during that span and the only fight he lost was his second one. Since then, Makhachev has won his last seven fights in a row, with his most recent victory being when he defeated Drew Dober by submission back in March of this year.
The impressive thing is that Makhachev can win his fights in a multitude of ways. Out of his 19 professional MMA victories, only three have come by knockout while he’s won eight apiece by submission or decision. In fact, four of his last seven wins have come by decision, which is likely why the over is being favored at -155 odds heading into UFC Vegas 31.
The 29-year-old southpaw has also made a living by being incredibly hard to hit. He’s absorbing a UFC record-low 0.77 significant strikes per minute with a defense rate of 77%. Few fighters have ever been that good at defending against strikes, which shows how special Makhachev is. As long as he can keep that up, there’s no reason why he won’t continue climbing the lightweight ranks.
Can Moises Pull Off the Upset?
Thiago Moises has a tough task ahead of him as he enters UFC Vegas 31. BetOnline has given him just +450 odds to defeat Makhachev, which really shows just how much of an underdog the former truly is.
The good news is that Moises has been on a winning streak of his own. It’s not as lengthy as Makhachev’s, but he has won his last three bouts in a row. Most recently, Moises defeated Alexander Hernandez by submission back in February, so he’ll hope to carry that momentum over to Saturday.
Like Makhachev, Moises’ recent fights have typically gone the distance. Of his last six bouts, five have been decided by decision, which makes it seem like that’ll be the case again at UFC Vegas 31. Nevertheless, one thing that Moises does have going for himself is that the pressure isn’t exactly on him this Saturday. The MMA world is documenting how quickly Makhachev is rising, which means there’s more pressure on him to win this weekend. Moises knows this and he’s going to do what he can to send his opponent’s fans back home disappointed.
Regardless of who is being favored heading into Saturday, Makhachev-Moises is shaping up to be a fight to remember. All that’s left to do is to see if it lives up to the hype at UFC Vegas 31.