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UFC Betting Notebook
While making a guest appearance on ‘UFC Unfiltered’ Tuesday, Dana White stated that the promotion is attempting to book a lightweight fight between Nate Diaz and Georges ‘Rush’ St. Pierre for the UFC 227 co-main event.

Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt will face bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw in the UFC 227 headliner at Staples Center in Los Angles on Aug. 4. White also said that he’s trying to make Alexander Gustafsson vs. Luke Rockhold happen on the same card.

Rockhold, the former middleweight kingpin, is moving up to the 205-pound loop after losing to Yoel Romero his last time out. Gustafsson, who just signed a lucrative long-term extension with the promotion last week, has twice fought for the light-heavyweight title. ‘The Mauler’ dropped a close decision to Jon Jones and lost a split decision to current champ Daniel Cormier.

Cormier just completed a coaching stint on the latest edition of The Ultimate Fighter opposite of heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Cormier and Miocic will square off for the heavyweight strap on July 7 at UFC 226. Miocic is currently listed as a -190 ‘chalk,’ while Cormier is the +160 underdog (risk $100 to win $160).

Jones remains on suspension. As for the UFC 227 main event, most books have Dillashaw as a -125 favorite over Garbrandt, the former champ who is a +105 underdog.

Bovada opened GSP as a -200 favorite vs. Diaz earlier today. Diaz, who hasn’t fought since losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 of 2016, was listed as the +160 underdog at the offshore website.

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Bettors would think GSP would be a more expensive favorite in this matchup. After all, he was a -500 ‘chalk’ vs. Nate’s brother, Nick, in his blowout win by unanimous decision at UFC 158 in March of 2013. However, GSP has never fought at 155 pounds before, so he’d be making the toughest weight cut of his storied career.

Gamblers must also consider that St. Pierre fought at middleweight his last time out, defeating Michael Bisping to win the 185-pound title at UFC 217. GSP would subsequently vacate the belt. Before the win over Bisping, ‘Rush’ had been on a hiatus from the Octagon for nearly four years.

White said, ““I need to give [Nate and Nick] three fights a year. If I fail to give them three fights a year, then I have to pay them. I’ve honored my contract with those guys — they keep turning down the fights, which extends their contracts. But we are working right now to try to put together a Georges St-Pierre versus Nate Diaz fight.

“In my perfect world, if everything goes perfect — which nothing goes f**cking perfect in this world — Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt, GSP vs. Diaz would be the co-main, Gustafsson vs. Rockhold and Derek Brunson vs. Antonio Carlos Junior.”

White reiterated that Gustafsson vs. Rockhold would not be for the interim title.

**B.E.’s Octagon Nuggets**

-- News broke on Tuesday of the UFC reaching a “groundbreaking agreement” with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN that will bring UFC events and other programming to their digital platform ESPN+. The partnership will begin in January of 2019. The UFC’s deal with FOX is up at the end of December. ESPN+ will air 15 live UFC events exclusively. The cards will feature 12 fights and be billed as, “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night.” Sports Business Daly reported that the deal is for five years and will be worth $150 million annually. ESPN+ has a cost of $49.99 per year or $4.99 monthly for a subscription.

-- White also said on ‘UFC Unfiltered’ that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the featherweight belt. Brian Ortega is scheduled to take on the champ, Max Holloway, in the UFC 226 co-main event. Holloway is currently listed as a -200 favorite with the undefeated Ortega at +165 on the comeback.

-- Fedor is a -260 favorite vs. Chael Sonnen (+180) in the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament’s semifinals. Fedor scored a 48-second KO over former two-time UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir on April 28.

--The UFC Boise card (Fight Night 133) at CenturyLink Arena on July 14 is starting to take shape, and it’s going to feature some big names. The main event will pit former heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos vs. Blagoy Ivanov, the former WSOF heavyweight kingpin who will be making his Octagon debut. James Vick, the 11th-ranked lightweight who is 9-1 in the UFC, will take on 15th-ranked Paul Felder. Also, Chad Mendes will make his return from a two-year USADA suspension to meet Myles Jury in a featherweight scrap. Two women who previously challenged Ronda Rousey in bantamweight title fights will compete in Boise. ‘Alpha’ Cat Zingano will face Marion Reneau, while Liz Carmouche and Jennifer Maia will collide in a flyweight bout. ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt is expected to face Zak Ottow in a welterweight fight.

--The headliner for TUF 27 Finale was announced last week. Middleweights Brad Tavares and Israel Adesanya will square off on July 6 at the Pearl Theatre in Paradise, Nevada.

-- Here’s an underrated scrap I’m looking forward to at UFC 225 in Chicago on June 9: Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida vs. Bobby ‘King’ Green in a lightweight contest in Guida’s backyard.

-- Controversial former NFL player Greg Hardy is slated to fight Brandon Sayles on the upcoming season of the ‘Contender Series.’ 5Dimes.eu has Hardy listed as a -350 favorite vs. Sayles, the +250 underdog.

-- The current odds for a potential showdown between lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor: Nurmagomedov -245 vs. McGregor +180 at 5Dimes. However, Sportsbook.ag has Nurmagomedov at -180, leaving ‘The Notorious’ at +147 on the comeback.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

  
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