UFC 259: Adesanya vs Blachowicz – Tips & Preview

Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz, Light Heavyweight, Main Event
Adesanya by KO/Points $1.45

Adesanya has opened here as the comfortable $1.40 favourite, with Blachowicz out as the $2.90 underdog.

The Kiwi enters this bout with an outstanding 20-0 record, including 15 knockouts so far. He is 6-0 since joining the UFC, defeating a murderer’s row of opponents that included Costa, Romero, Whittaker, and Gastelum.

Known primarily for his elite movement and striking ability, he was 75-5 as a kickboxer before becoming an MMA fighter. This fight will mark somewhat of a change for him, as he moves from his usual Middleweight division up to Light Heavyweight.

His opponent, Jan Blachowicz, enters this bout with a 27-8 career record. He has won 8 of his last 9 fights en route to winning the Light Heavyweight championship.

Known for his versatility, he has 8 knockouts, 9 submissions, and 10 decision wins to his name so far. Having competed professionally in BJJ and Muay Thai leagues, he’ll be an interesting match for Adesanya.

Although Blachowicz has been a revelation over the past few years, I’m still rocking with Adesanya here. He has dominated against a murderer’s row of opponents and I think his speed will be too much for Blachowicz.

I’m opting for the double chance market of Adesanya by KO/Points at $1.45. It may not be the gaudiest number, but I still think there’s value. I back his ability to keep this one on the feet, either out-pointing Blachowicz or landing the decisive blow.

Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson, Featherweight, Co-Main
Nunes by KO $2

Nunes opens as the comfortable $1.10 favourite here, with Aussie Megan Anderson at $7 to pull off the unthinkable.

Considered by many to be the female GOAT, Nunes enters this bout with a 20-4 career record. Since pulling off the upset of Miesha Tate at UFC 200, she has comfortably beaten everyone put in front of her.

She has a great finishing rate for a female MMA fighter, getting 13 knockouts and 3 submission wins so far. Having already proven everything at Bantamweight, she’s looking to defend her Featherweight title again here.

Anderson, the pride of the Gold Coast, enters this clash with an 11-4 career record. She also isn’t a stranger to a good finish, having secured 6 knockouts and 3 submissions so far.

One concern is her lack of pedigree in the UFC, losing to her big name opponents in Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. The plus side is she has 2 straight first-round finishes and has literally nothing to lose.

Initially, I was tempted to take Anderson to pull off the shock round 1 win at $21. Upon further review, I just don’t see how she beats Nunes without a ton of luck.

Nunes is the better fighter in every category and is a huge step up over Anderson’s previous opponents. $1.10 just isn’t good enough value, so it comes down to which method of victory looks the best. Given Nunes’ track record and Anderson’s likely aggressive approach, I think Amanda winning by KO at $2 is the best bet here.

Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling, Bantamweight Title Fight
Yan to Win $1.87

It’s always great to have a trio of title fights on a card, but this is definitely the most evenly-matched of the 3. Petr Yan is the narrowest of favourites at $1.87, while Aljamain ‘Funkmaster Flex’ Sterling is on offer at $1.94.

Petr Yan has been a very fast riser on the UFC scene, entering this bout with a 15-1 career record. He had a solid trio of wins over Dodson, Rivera, and Faber, before beating Aldo for the vacant title last time out. Known primarily for his speed and striking ability, 7 of his wins have come by KO and a further 7 have been by decision.

Sterling has also had an impressive career of his own, entering this bout with a 19-3 record. He has an impressive 5-fight win streak, beating Cory Sandhagen in the title eliminator last time out. Known more for his excellent ground game, he has 8 submissions and 9 decision victories to his name.

Ultimately, I think getting $1.87 straight up for Yan represents very good value. This is easily his best price since stepping into the octagon and I think he matches up well with the Funkmaster.

I expect his unique combination of speed and power to prove too much for Sterling here as he consistently outpoints him. Combine that with his strong takedown defense and you’re looking at a likely win by KO or decision.