UFC 250 serves as one of those double benefits.
Even in normal times without COVID-19, along with everything else unfolding in the country, Saturday’s event falls into that category.
When you consider there still aren’t major US sports happening, perhaps that makes it even more special.
The women’s bantam and featherweight champion, the first women’s “champ champ,” will defend her featherweight title against Felicia Spencer (8-1, 2-1).
This is Nunes’ first featherweight defense since December 2018. As ESPN joked, excuse her inattention to the 145-pound division. Nunes has been busy fending off challengers for her other title.
What: UFC 250: “Nunes vs. Spencer”
When: Saturday, 6 p.m. MST prelims; 8 p.m. main card
Where: UFC Apex Facility, Las Vegas
Watch: Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+; main card on ESPN+
UFC 250 main event odds
|Women's Featherweight title bout: Champion Amanda Nunes (19-4-0) vs Felicia Spencer (8-1-0)|
|DraftKings: Nunes -625, Spencer +450|
|FanDuel: Nunes -750, Spencer +500|
UFC 250 main card odds
|Bantamweight: No. 5 Raphael Assuncao (27-7-0) vs No. 9 Cody Garbrandt (11-3-0)|
|DraftKings: Garbrandt -148, Assuncao +120|
|FanDuel: Garbrandt -148, Assuncao +122|
|Bantamweight: No. 2 Aljamain Sterling (18-3-0) vs No. 4 Cory Sandhagen (12-1-0)|
|DraftKings: Sterling -112, Sandhagen -122|
|FanDuel: Sterling -118, Sandhagen -104|
|Welterweight: Neil Magny (22-8-0) vs Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5-0)|
|DraftKings: Magny -143, Martin +115|
|FanDuel: Magny -140, Martin +116|
|Bantamweight: Eddie Wineland (24-13-1) vs Sean O'Malley (11-0-0)|
|DraftKings: O'Malley -500, Wineland +360|
|FanDuel: O'Malley -500, Wineland +360|
As you would expect, Nunes enters as the heavy favorite for Saturday’s fight in Las Vegas.
Since sportsbooks in Colorado brought in a $25.5 million handle for May, sports bettors will probably eat this up.
Here are the DraftKings terms:
- $10 max bet.
- One qualifying bet per user.
- Following opt-in, bettors will receive one single-use odds boost for Nunes to win.
- The boosted price is +500.
- Bettors must select the boost in their bet slip before placing the wager.
- Excludes live bets, parlays, free bets, cash out bets, voided bets and odds boosts.
- Must be in Colorado.
Here are the FanDuel terms:
- $20 max bet.
- The boosted price is +250.
- Bettors will need to deposit to receive the boost.
- Offer only available in-app, not on desktop.
Parent-to-be Nunes more motivated than usual
When you’re one of the best to step foot in the Octagon, there isn’t much you have to prove. And finding inspiration can become difficult.
ESPN hinted that Nunes might walk away, but she’s a fighter with added motivation.
Why? She’s going to be a mother.
It was in March when Nunes tweeted a photo of her and her wife, fellow fighter Nina Ansaroff, announcing that Ansasaroff is pregnant with their first child, Reagan Ann Nunes, and is due in September.
Nunes is no longer fighting for herself; she’s fighting for her daughter.
“I can’t wait for Raegan to see me finally,” Nunes told ESPN. “I want to be able to take her to the fights so I can have memories of her there with me.”
So, while Nunes did hint at retirement two years ago, she’s not going anywhere. Nunes told ESPN recently:
“I’m looking forward to getting my hand raised and walking away with my belts. Every time I think I don’t have anything else left, something comes up. Life always (shows) it to me.”
Can Spencer shock the world?
Whenever there’s a huge favorite, as Nunes is in this fight against Spencer, you have to take the “underdog has a shot” talk with a grain of salt.
The ultimate goal is to drum up interest in the fight and get people to purchase the pay-per-view option.
However, massive underdogs do pull off upsets. Colorado fans know that full well when the Denver Broncos entered Super Bowl XXXII against the Green Bay Packers as 14-point underdogs. John Elway and the Broncos proceeded to win the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, 31-24.
MMA insider Ariel Helwani likes Spencer’s chances on Saturday:
“I will abide by my no-predictions rule, but I also feel compelled to say I like her chances this weekend. She is fearless and tough. She is great on the ground. The moment won’t get to her, especially since the title fight is happening in an empty arena. I think that benefits her greatly because it won’t feel like a real championship fight without all the usual buzz and hoopla. In other words, don’t sleep on the ‘FeeNom.’”
Don’t forget, this is also Nunes’ first featherweight title defense in 18 months.
While a new child could serve as motivation, it can also be a distraction.
Whether Spencer has a chance, though, time will tell.
It just makes Saturday’s event a little more can’t-miss.