UFC 296 Won’t See Former Champion Fill Last Minute Slot

Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

UFC 296 is set to take place on December 16th at the Paradise Nevada T-Mobile Arena. The action-packed card is filled with great fights including the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov taking on Stephen Thompson, Tony Ferguson against fan-favorite Paddy Pimblett, and the main event of Leon Edwards versus Colby Covington.

The preliminary card was set to feature Josh Emmet and Giga Chikadze. However, Chikadze’s torn groin forced him to pull out of the bout. A number of names were put forward at short notice and former champion bantamweight Aljamain Sterling was quick to register his interest.

Sterling had responded to Emmett’s public call to action on X (formerly Twitter) by posting his weight of 166.6 lbs, indicating his confidence that he could drop the 20 lbs required for the featherweight bout.

Organizers must have had concerns about this, and following one drop out they went with 29-year-old Bryce Mitchell.

Mitchell is ranked 12th in the world for the MMA featherweight division and has a solid record of seven wins from his eight appearances in the UFC.

Emmet’s recent form has not been great and he will be keen to get back to winning ways following back-to-back defeats against Rodriguez and Topuria.

Injuries are part and parcel of combat sports, and Chikadze’s injury in training will be a disappointing setback for him. Fighters will often relax if they don’t have a fight lined up, but that is not to say that Mitchell will be out of shape.

The card has a selection of great fights that will be popular among UFC fans who like to bet. At present, Bryce Mitchell is the 4/6 favorite with Emmett priced at 6/5. This could prove good odds for someone who was prepared to fight against Mitchell who has just stepped in.

Finding the best odds for the UFC is typically straightforward by searching online. However, some U.S. states still prohibit online sports betting, making it difficult for fans to place a bet online.

Offshore betting options provide a way for customers in states with prohibitive gambling legislation to place bets. But is offshore betting legal?

Finding a legitimate offshore betting operator can allow U.S. citizens to legally bet on a variety of UFC markets. Laws typically apply to operators working out of specific states, and offshore operators can circumvent these rules.

And, there’s often a better selection of markets than available locally, making these platforms excellent for UFC betting. The headline fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington is another that will get plenty of action with current odds placing Edwards as the 8/11 favorite ahead of Covington who is priced at 11/10.

Alexandra Pantoja is the 4/7 favorite in his fight against 11/8 Brandon Royval. Most of the other fights have clear and obvious odds on favorites with Rahhmanov priced at 1/6, Ian Machado Garry priced at 1/3, and Paddy Pimblett also showing at 1/3.

With such a great line-up, fans are set for a knockout night of action and Bryce Mitchell will be hoping he can get up to speed in time.