One year ago, Israel Adesanya made his first defence of the UFC middleweight championship in lackluster fashion mere weeks after Jon Jones was similarly ho-hum in defending his light heavyweight strap. Looking back from our vantage point in 2021 on the cusp of UFC 259, my-oh-my have things changed. Jones has since relinquished the 205-pound title to move up to heavyweight, with division stalwart Jan Blachowicz seizing the opportunity to become champ — and his first challenger is none other than Adesanya, who seeks to become just the fourth simultaneous champ-champ in UFC history. With an absolutely loaded fight card to feast on, it’s time for CanadianBettingSites to roll through UFC 259 picks and the very best odds and prop bets for Adesanya vs Blachowicz, Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson, Petr Jan vs Aljamain Sterling, and more.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Jan Blachowicz vs Israel Adesanya
The Last Stylebender vs Legendary Polish Power? Folks, if styles truly do make fights, this light heavyweight scrap is a UFC fantasy brought to life. Adesanya has proven against increasingly fierce competition that he might just have the single best striking arsenal in mixed martial arts, but the jump from 185 pounds to 205 is a very, very big one — and Blachowicz proved against Dominick Reyes that he can bludgeon a man to oblivion with either hand even as a betting underdog.
Ultimately, however, Cieszyn’s finest will be 38 years old when he touches gloves with his highly decorated opponent, a man who happens to be one of the top pound-for-pound operators in the world with footwork, defence, and Octagon IQ to spare. If Kelvin Gastelum can land repeatedly against the middleweight champ, you’d sure like to think that Blachowicz can, but the difference in pure class between these two simply cannot be denied.
Take Israel Adesanya (1.40) to dethrone Jan Blachowicz and become the first middleweight/light heavyweight champ-champ in UFC history. A $20 bet cashes out for $28 at Bet365.
Best Blachowicz Odds vs Adesanya
Convinced that Legendary Polish Power is the ultimate remedy for Adesanya’s clinical brilliance? You’re not going to be alone. It’s worth noting that Blachowicz was a similarly sized underdog against Reyes at UFC 253 as he is this time around. He’s a durable beast, too, having only been finished once in his UFC career.
With that in mind, there’s value to be had.
If Blachowicz is your ride-or-die pick to get the win (3.25), a $20 wager at 888Sport pays out $65.
Adesanya vs Blachowicz Method of Victory
So, how’s this one ending? Let’s not overanalyze things, folks. Four of Blachowicz’s last five fights have ended by KO or TKO. The same goes for three of Adesanya’s last six. With the latter moving up to a bigger, harder-hitting division, the smart money simply has to be on this bang-bang main event ending before the full allotment of 25 minutes plays out.
Perhaps much, much earlier.
Pick UFC 259’s main event to end by KO or TKO. A winning $20 ticket promises to pay out $33.33 at top sportsbooks.
UFC Bantamweight Championship: Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling
Is it finally Aljamain Sterling’s time? The UFC bantamweight men are a vicious, violent bunch, and while Petr Yan currently sits at the top of the heap, there are perhaps as many as four contenders that could put him through some very real Octagon hell — and none is more compelling in this moment than Aljo, who’s on a five-fight win streak and very rarely makes mistakes. He can’t match the champ’s striking prowess, but he brings a significant edge in jiu-jitsu.
If Sterling gets on your back, it’s probably over. And while Yan is an assassin and deserves his status as a betting favourite, he’s not especially accomplished as far as UFC champions go. If one of this card’s three title fights is poised to give us an upset, this 135-pound slobberknocker is the likeliest of the bunch.
Pick Sterling to score the upset (2.15) over Yan for the bantamweight championship. A $20 wager at Bodog cashes out for $43.
Our fight not going to round 5 https://t.co/v2H9dHOtSf
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) February 21, 2021
UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson
Few title fights ever feature longer odds than those featuring the great Amanda Nunes holding court at 145 pounds. The shallowest division in the UFC by an order of magnitude, the Lioness has dispatched just about every available featherweight foe not named Megan Anderson, who is a massive underdog but presents an interesting stylistic quandary due to her serious height and reach advantage over the champ.
Is taking a tiny flier on Anderson the dumbest idea in the world? No. Nunes has only fought once in the last 14 months, and now that she’s a new mother, you’ve got to wonder about whether she’s at the precipice of retirement. You wouldn’t blame her if that killer instinct had started to fade.
But if we’re picking winners here, there’s only one choice. Period.
Take Nunes to beat Anderson (1.12) and call it a day. A winning $20 ticket redeems for $22.40 at Sports Interaction.
Dominick Cruz vs Casey Kenney
The Dominator — one of the greatest 135ers of all time — is on the prelim card? Yes, that’s a pretty darn good sign that this pay-per-view is absolutely loaded with compelling fighters. This one could end up as a pick ’em fight, and though Casey Kenney is not to be underestimated and has a 5-1 record in the UFC, Dominick Cruz has the kind of toolbox he’s never seen before.
Pick Cruz to defeat Kenney in the featured prelim bout. A $20 bet at top sportsbooks cashes out for $41.60.