UFC 259 is upon us, with four champions competing in three battles: Amanda Nunes defending her featherweight title against Megan Anderson, Petr Yan pitting her bantamweight title against Alzman Sterling and middleweight champion Israel. .
For the big fights of the night, take a look at the picks from Odds and Sporting News.
All courtesy of FanDuel.
Jan Blachowicz vs Israel Adesanya Odds
- Jan Blachowicz: +184
- Israel Adesanya: -230
Although Adesania is gaining in weight, the Odysseymakers did not provide much resistance to the Nigerian’s journey to become two-division champions. And a closer look at Adesanya’s recent outing is suggested.
Blachovic, 38, has gone on an impressive run with four straight wins over Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Corey Anderson and Dominic Reyes, with three of those fights not going into the scorecard. Following the knockout defeat to Thiago Santos, the Polish fighter has won eight of their last nine encounters. This is certainly impressive, but he has also suffered a fair share of losses during his UFC tenure. While his current run suggests that he has turned a corner late in his career, the one against him on Saturday night is completely different during his current win.
To defeat Israel Adesania, his opponent needs to give him something to think about outside of a purely stand-up fight. And that kickdown needs to be threatened to prevent the kickboxer from slipping into a comfort zone and dissuading their opponents.
Robert Whitaker and Paulo Costa fought at some distance and eventually parted, while Joel Romero deprived Adesanya of his power, but did nothing to prevent the outpoint from occurring.
Adesanya differs in that he is a fluid striker who is equally destructive with both pores and kicks. He changes levels with ease and is just as effective as a counterstriker because he is aggressive. Calvin Gastelum was the only fighter to succeed in the Battle of the Year candidate against Adesanya, and was courtesy of the Takade threat that allowed Gastelum to guess the Auckland fighter.
If you do not do this, you are bound to lose.
Blachowicz has a big fumble, but the problem is to either find a way to close the distance to take the fight to the mats, or land one of the heavy bombs that can cause serious damage.
Blachowicz can be a naturally big fighter, but he will suffer a loss in height and reach Adesanya. This is a recipe for adversity when faced with an opponent who enjoys using those points with pinpoint striking. There may be some dice moments, but this fight will likely be played in the same way as Costa set up a knockout in the third or fourth round with Adesania using leg kick and fast jab.
And this is exactly where to consider money-230 is preferred.
Sporting News Pick: By Israel Adesanya (T) K.O.
Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Odds
- Amanda Nunes: -1200
- Megan Anderson: +680
See, there’s really no reason to waste time explaining why the greatest female fighter of all time will retain her 145-pound title. Megan Anderson is a solid fighter who packs a punch in the women’s featherweight division, but was presented in the first round by Felicia Spencer, who was dominated by Nunes, and was dismissed by Holly Holm, whom the champion called Was stopped.
Nunes has superior technology across the board. The only question is, how does she plan to end it? Does she use her scramble to gain a submersible or could she be the first fighter to knockout Anderson?
The only way to make money on Nunes is the two-part champion as the -1200 is a mass favorite. Assuming that Anderson is susceptible to submission, it makes sense to lean that way.
Sporting News Pick: Submitting Amanda Nunes
Petr Yan vs Alzman Sterling Odds
- Petr Yan: -110
- Alzamen Sterling: -110
This is the toughest fight to take as the champion has yet to show any tinkle in his armor during his 7–0 UFC run. However, Sterling has faced stiffer competition and is a magician with his grappling and wrestling.
Oddsmackers have made it an equal-money fight for the same reason. We are not entirely sure how good the vehicle is. It is not necessary to tell an over-the-hill Jose Aldo and Ureza Faber that he is the best in the division as he has managed to win the title without facing Corey Sandhagen, Marlon Moras, Frankie Edgar, Seri Garbrand and Pedro Munoz . He must have filled his hands with Sterling.
As for Sterling, this title fight is long overdue and was earned with Sandhagen’s absolute steamering in his last outing. He may not be a devastating striker, but his high level of battling and his superior standup can make it an interesting fight.
Yan has suffered one loss in his MMA career but has suffered a grappler at the level of Sterling. He is a powerhouse, but can he change his way through this opponent?
There is an honest dislike for each other, and with five rounds of fighting taking place, it is likely that this is not a distance. One way or the other – whether presented by Sterling or knockout Yan – it is unlikely that judges will be needed.
With a narrow fight, as both Yan and Sterling are at -110, betting that the fight does not go the distance may present the best result.
Sporting News Pick: Yan-Sterling Doesn’t Go Distance