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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:49 PM

UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa Betting Odds

  • September 24, 2020
  • By Adam Lykkesteen

UFC 253 Odds & Analysis

Mixed Martial Arts will head back to UFC Fight Island this Saturday for a stacked UFC 253 Adesanya-Costa card, which is expected to feature two championship matchups among the 11-fight card.

We’re going to take a closer look at the betting odds and line movements for the two main events.

Before we break down the feature fights for UFC 253, make a note that favorites have performed well at the last four major events in the major MMA promotion

Chalky Returns

UFC 252: Favorites 8-3 (Return +135)
UFC 251: Favorites 11-2 (Return +805)
UFC 250: Favorites 10-2 (Return +495)
UFC 249: Favorites 9-2 (Return +380)

You will see a live underdog connect every now and then but you can see looking above that favorites have gone 38-9 over the last four pay-per-view events.

Bettors laying $100 blindly on those favorites would be up $1,815.

UFC 253 Adesanya-Costa Betting Resources

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020
  • TV-Time: ESPN/ESPN+, ESPN PPV 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Flash Forum
  • Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

UFC Middleweight Championship Odds

The stakes for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 253 main event are clear. When surging middleweight contender Paulo ‘Borrachinha’ Costa takes on long-time rival and current champion Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, it will be with everything on the line.

Costa finds himself 5-0 in the UFC, coming off the biggest win of his career over the division’s bogeyman Yoel Romero. In a barn-burner for the ages, Costa and Romero went to war for three rounds. When it was all over, the judges unanimously gave Costa the nod, leaving him next in line for a title shot.

Adesanya vs. Costa Odds Movement

When the fight was officially announced in late July, oddsmakers opened the middleweight champion Adesanya as a minus-135 betting favorite while the return on Costa was plus-115.

Looking at the below movements and checking prices every two weeks, we can see that early money came in on the champion and he was pushed up 30 cents to -165.

A few legal sportsbooks in the United States pushed Adesanya as high as a minus -180 favorite, while Costa could’ve been scooped up at +170 during this span. As of fight week and writing this analysis, the consensus odds are -165/+145 at most betting shops.

Fighter Opening Odds (7/20) 8/3 8/17 8/31 9/14 9/24
Adesanya -135 -165 -170 -150 -165 -165
Costa +115 +145 +150 +130 +145 +145

For bettors playing the ‘over/under’ rounds, the oddsmakers don’t believe this match will go the distance. The number opened at 2.5 with the ‘over’ (-145) listed as the favorite. The return on a finish quicker than 12 ½ minutes would bring you back a +125 return on ‘under’ wagers.

In eight UFC promoted fights, Adesanya has seen five fights go the distance but the three early results never saw the third round.

Meanwhile, Costa has finished four of first UFC fights and three of them ended in the second round. His last result was a unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 241.

Betting Analysis

While both fighters are undefeated, it’s tough not to declare Adesanya the rightful favorite in this matchup. After all, Adesanya has more experience against tougher opponents. With eight UFC appearances Adesanya has fought 3 times more in the organization than Costa.


Adesanya’s path to the title has also featured higher-level opponents, as we have seen Israel take on the likes of Derek Brunson, Kelvin Gastelum, and Robert Whittaker. On the other hand, we have Paulo Costa who still remains undefeated, and although that in itself is impressive, the Brazilian has only faced one ranked opponent throughout the trajectory of his entire UFC run, perhaps resulting in an experience disadvantage for him.

It’s safe to say that Adesanya has faced someone like Costa before, or at least someone possessing a similar skill set, whereas the same can’t be said for Costa. Adesanya stands 6’4’’ tall with a whopping reach of 80’’, meaning that Paulo will surrender 8 inches in reach to the champion once the cage is closed.

Costa likes to get in close and bombard his opponents with vicious head-body-head combinations, whereas Adesanya likes to keep his opponents at a distance and pick them apart.

While Costa is an extraordinary physical specimen with heavy hands, too many factors are against him in this matchup: Reach, distance-control, and cardio (a 3-round fight against Romero saw Costa fading radically in rounds 2 and 3).

Costa has never gone 5 rounds before, and more importantly, has never fought anyone like Adesanya up to this point. Stylebender has figured out a way to beat these big KO punchers and relies on strategy and technique to carry him through fights.

Mix this with the fact that champions in 2020 have won about 7 out of 10 times and we’ve got some great value on Israel Adesanya. ‘The Last Stylebender’s’ stock is low because his last outing against Romero was labelled unimpressive, and the casual fanbase is getting off the Stylebender train - which means it’s time to get it on!

UFC Adesanya - Betting History (Last 5)

UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero
Israel Adesanya -185 vs. Yoel Romero +165

UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya
Israel Adesanya -300 vs. Robert Whittaker +250

UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2
Israel Adesanya -140 vs. Kelvin Gastelum +120

UFC 234: Adesanya vs. Silva
Israel Adesanya -550 vs. Anderson Silva +400

UFC 230: Cormier vs. Lewis
Israel Adesanya -300 vs. Derek Brunson +220

UFC Costa - Betting History (Last 5)

UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2
Paulo Costa +110 vs. Yoel Romero -130

UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier
Paulo Costa -300 vs. Uriah Hall +240

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre
Paulo Costa -375 vs. Johny Hendricks +300

UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway
Paulo Costa -300 vs. Oluwale Bamgbose +230

UFC Fight Night 106: Belfort vs. Gastelum
Paulo Costa -340 vs. Garreth McLellan +260


In the co-main event we head to the light heavyweight division where Jan Blachowicz will lock horns with Dominick Reyes for the vacant 205-pound title.

Reyes is fresh off a controversial yet competitive fight with UFC megastar Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, where we saw Reyes face defeat for the first time via UD. Jan Blachowicz is coming off an avenging knockout over Corey Anderson in a rematch against a guy he had lost to before. Blachowicz and Reyes are scheduled to go 5 rounds.

Reyes vs. Blachowicz Odds Movement

Similar to the middleweight champion, Reyes has seen plenty of early support at sportsbooks after the opening odds were posted on Aug. 24.

Laying $100 to win $41 on Reyes as a -240 favorite doesn't seem like a bad return but many UFC bettors like to scoop up all the chips and if the odds get higher by the time the fight gets underway, I would expect some buying back on Blachowicz if he receives +300 odds or better.

Looking at the betting history of Blachowicz below, you can see that he has cashed in the underdog role with wins over Corey Anderson and Luke Rockhold Interestingly enough, both those results were early knockouts so perhaps a Jan by KO ticket should be on our radar.

Fighter Opening Odds (8/24) 8/31 9/7 9/14 9/21 9/24
Reyes -240 -250 -260 -280 -270 -270
Blachowicz +200 +210 +220 +240 +230 +230

Betting Analysis

I really like the favorite Reyes in this matchup, and I understand how bettors might not want to lay the steep price on him. However, I still think there is some value on this fight, especially when you look at other betting markets.

Reyes has gone the distance in 42% of his UFC fights and Blachowicz has gone the distance in 57% of his UFC fights. That gives us an average of 49% chance that these guys go the distance in the UFC.

The total on this fight is also 2.5 rounds with the money shaded to the 'over' (-145). I would check the sportsbooks of your choice and find "The Fight Will go the Distance" market as you can probably get close to a 3/1 return.

Even if the number is a tad lower, say in the +270 to +275 range, I like those odds since both fighters are extremely durable and have good chins. On top of that, we know that in 5-round fights, the chance of a KO happening significantly goes down after the first round.

Looking back at the career of Reyes, he finished eight of his first nine fights in the first round and that includes three straight to open his UFC record. However, Reyes has seen the judges put their pencils to papers in three of his last four and that includes the aforementioned unanimous decision loss to Jones at UFC 247.

Adding more fuel to my 'over' lean and distance prop, B?achowicz has five UFC losses on his resume and four of them ended via decision.

UFC Reyes - Betting History (Last 5)

UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes
Dominick Reyes +300 vs. Jon Jones -380

UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs. Weidman
Dominick Reyes -210 vs. Chris Weidman +170

UFC on ESPN+ 5: Till vs. Masvidal
Dominick Reyes -260 vs. Volkan Oezdemir +210

UFC 229: Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor
Dominick Reyes -210 vs. Ovince St. Preux +170

UFC Fight Night 129: Maia vs. Usman
Dominick Reyes -225 vs. Jared Cannonier +175

UFC Blachowicz - Betting History (Last 5)

UFC on ESPN+ 25
Jan Blachowicz +175 vs. Corey Anderson

UFC on ESPN+ 22
Jan Blachowicz -185 vs. Ronaldo Souza

UFC 239: Jones vs. Santos
Jan Blachowicz +180 vs. Luke Rockhold

UFC on ESPN+ 3: Blachowicz vs. Santos
Jan Blachowicz -105 vs. Thiago Santos -135

UFC Fight Night 136: Hunt vs. Oleinik
Jan Blachowicz +110 vs. Nikita Krylov -130

UFC 253 Fight Card Betting Odds

  • Israel Adesanya -165 vs. Paulo Costa +145
  • Dominick Reyes -270 vs. Jan Blachowicz +230
  • Kai Kara-France -220 vs. Brandon Rovyal +190
  • Ketlen Viera -190 vs. Sijara Eubanks +170
  • Zubaira Tukhugov -130 vs. Hakeem Dawodu +110
  • Jake Matthews -750 vs. Diego Sanchez +525
  • Brad Riddell -330 vs. Alex da Silva +270
  • Ludovit Klein -115 vs. Shane Young -105
  • Aleksa Camur -150 vs. William Knight +130
  • Juan Espino -300 vs. Jeff Hughes +250
  • Khadis Ibragimov -165 vs. Danilo Marques +145

Bouts and Odds Subject to Change

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