Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira open as surprising underdogs in new UFC fights

Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira are two of the top lightweights in the world, but both have opened as underdogs for upcoming fights scheduled for UFC 299 and UFC 300.

Poirier clashes with rising star Benoit Saint Denis in a five-round battle that serves as the co-main event of UFC 299 in March. The fight is Poirier’s first appearance since suffering a shocking head kick knockout loss to Justin Gaethje this past July.

Meanwhile, Saint Denis has rattled off five straight wins — all by knockout or submission — while staking his claim to a No. 13 spot in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings.

The opening odds for the fight from Sportsbetting.ag have Poirier as an underdog to Saint Denis, although betting lines can obviously shift depending on how much money is wagered on each athlete.

Dustin Poirier +130

Benoit Saint-Denis -150

Based on those odds, a $100 bet would return $130 if Poirier pulls off the upset, while it would require a $150 bet on Saint Denis to get back $100.

As for the new fight booked for UFC 300, Arman Tsarukyan enjoys favorite status over Oliveira as the lightweights compete in a No. 1 contender’s fight. The winner is expected to eventually fight for the 155-pound title after clashing on the historic card on April 13 in Las Vegas.

Charles Oliveira +170

Arman Tsarukyan -200

Tsarukyan earned his status as the favorite after he demolished Beneil Dariush in the first round in December, which extended his win streak to three in a row overall.

As for Oliveira, the former UFC lightweight champion also scored a win over Dariush this past May, and he was scheduled to face Islam Makhachev in October, however he suffered a nasty gash during training that knocked him out of the fight. Rather than re-booking that rematch again, Oliveira now takes on one of the top prospects at lightweight, with Tsarukyan seeking the biggest win of his UFC career.

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