Jones: The Strange Betting Favorite at UFC 128
Jon “Bones” Jones, who is set to fight against Shogun Rua at the UFC 128, finds it strange that the MMA odds-makers have seemingly set their bets on him.
The 205-pound Mauricio a.k.a. “Shogun” Rua holds a record of having twice the experience as Jones has, and holds a belt in UFC light heavyweight division. As such, Jones calls it “baloney” that the odds-makers would present him as the likely winner for the March 19 bout at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
At the UFC 126, Jones won over Ryan Bader and was jacked up to replace Rashad Evans, who was injured, to fight Rua.
The day after the February 5 event, the betting lines opened and Jones was listed as a -150 favorite, with Rua given a +120 underdog rating.
The gap has since been widened to have Jones at -210 and Rua at +165.
Jones explains that he was probably chosen as the favorite since the odds-makers expected him to lose, which would rake in more money for them in the long run.
Indeed, this seems to be the way the game is run, as Rua himself did not raise an eyebrow at being labeled the weaker of the two fighters. Of course, speculations continue to fly that perhaps Rua thought the odds were possible given his third knee surgery which had kept him at bay after he grabbed the title away from Lyoto Machida last May during the UFC 113.
Rua admitted that he understood why people would pick Jones as the favorite, given his easy wins of his fights, and added that he himself thought Jones was “rightfully” the favorite for their fight.
He expounded that he “truly” considered himself the underdog.
Then again, outsiders have reason to question his humble stance of allowing that perception to continue, since the stakeholders are bound to profit from pushing this view.
Jones is much more adamant about getting a clearer view presented to the audience. He believes that his winning would be something that nobody would ever have expected, himself included.
Still, he conceded that his favored status might have come from his excellent way of buzzing through the light heavyweight division after his entry at UFC 87, with a poise that was considered far beyond his years, at 23 years old.
Jones is considered unique among young talents, as he is too conscious not to get caught up in hype. Although he knows he has the capacity to defeat Rua, he does not want to get his hopes up too high until he actually faces him for the fight. At least he knows he has no pressure to live up to, what with his still being young in this career.
It is apparently a win-win situation for him, as he has been training for the last three years and he’s up against a fighter who had been training from 9 years of age.
“That would be a huge feat,” he admits. “I have nothing to lose here… and I’m just going to have fun with the situation.”