Mar. 3, 2021
UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz Main Card Predictions
This Saturday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brings us a stacked PPV event at the UFC Apex Facility, in Vegas.
In the main event, UFC superstar Israel Adesanya moves up in weight to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title.
Should he win, he will be one of few UFC fighters to hold two belts simultaneously.
The co-main event sees the return of G.W.O.A.T Amanda Nunes, as she attempts to defend her festherweight title against Megan Anderson.
UFC 259 is absolutely stacked, with interesting fights scheduled, such as Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney, Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober, Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling, and Kyler Phillips vs. Yadong Song.
Let's have a look at some of the fights, and try to predict a winner.
UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowciz Main Event Analysis
UFC 259 Light Heavyweight Championship - Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz
Currently unbeaten in MMA at 20-0 (9-0 UFC), Adesanya's star power is increasing every time he steps in the octagon. And a win over Blachowicz would certainly add to his rising stardom.
With that being said, Adesanya does not have his usual 6-inch reach- or height advantages against Jan, which allow him to stay on the outside and pick his opponents apart.
The weight could also be an issue for Adesanya, has he recently stated that he's expecting to weight in at round 195 lbs. A 10 lb disadvantage is just too much in my book, and he could end up being overwhelmed by the sheer size and force of Jan once they meet in the cage.
With all that aside, the from a technical standpoint Adesanya should still win this fight. His fighting IQ is beyond comparison, and he has an incredibly wide toolbox for a striker.
Jan can be a bit of a slow starter, and Adesanya is the much faster man here, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get a performance from Adesanya like we saw against Romero, where he fights cautiously but intelligently, to win a decision.
Give me Adesanya by decision at +275 (bet $100 to win $275).
UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz Main Event Predictions
Israel Adesanya def. Jan Blachowicz by Decision (+275) at BetMGM
UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz Co-Main Event Analysis
UFC 259 Women's Featherweight Championship - Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson
The next sacrificial lamb brought to the slaughter by the UFC is Megan Anderson.
I can't think of a way in which Anderson wins this fight, expect for a Hail Mary knockout, where she uses her unusually long range to her advantage. However, with her long reach of 71'', Megan doesn't even have a statistically significant advantage over Nunes, whose reach is 69''.
Nunes is the superior fighter in every way you can think of, and the level gap is too big for me to see value in Megan's odds here.
However, because the level gap is so wide, I think we might end up seeing a finish from Nunes.
Give Amanda Nunes in round 1 at +140 (bet $100 to win $140).
UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz Co-Main Event Predictions
Amanda Nunes def. Megan Anderson in Round 1 (+140) at BetMGM
UFC 259 Bantamweight Championship - Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling
This is one of the best fights put together on this card, aside from the main event, if you ask me.
Yan became the 135 lb champion after beating Jose Aldo for Cejudo's vacant title. Now, he gets to defend his belt for the first time against the division's no. 1 contender, Aljamain Sterling.
This is the grappler versus the striker.
Sterling needs a takedown, and Yan wants to remain standing and box Sterling up.
The thing is, I feel like Sterling's striking won't be able to keep up with Sterling's aggressive pressure and octagon authority. Also, his long and wide stance really opens him up to the leg kicks.
Sterling got it done against Sandhagen, sure, but the narrative with Sandhagen has always been that he has poor takedown defense, and has confidence in his scrambling ability to get him back to his feet. Against Yan's 90% takedown defense, I don't think getting a takedown will be easy.
Give me Petr Yan by decision at +333 (bet $100 to win $333).
UFC 259: Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling Predictions
Petr Yan def. Aljamain Sterling by decision (+333) at BetMGM
UFC 259 Lightweight Bout - Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober
Yet again, we have a striker versus grappler matchup on our hands.
This time, however, the degree of specialization for both fighters in their field of fighting is more firm.
Makhachev is a grappler who just sticks to you and drains your gas tank, very much like Khabib, and these type of fighters have just proven to be Dober's kryptonite in the past. Sure, Dober now trains at a nice gym, Team Elevation, but he still has to fix that glaring hole in his game, which is his grappling.
The thing is, Team Elevation is already 0-1 against the Dagestani grapplers, due to Khabib submitting Gaethje last year. In that fight, the grappling just seemed to be on another level, and it was too much for the striker to deal with, even with a sharp gameplan from Gaethje.
Khabib says Islam is ready for the big leagues, and I believe him. Give me Makhachev via submission at +400 (bet $100 to win $400).
UFC 259: Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober Predictions
Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober by submission (+400) at BetMGM
UFC 259 Light Heavyweight Bout - Aleksandar Rakic vs. Thiago Santos
This is another great fight in the light heavyweight division between two awesome fighters.
Rakic is an up and coming fighter with only one loss in the UFC, via split-decision against Volkan Oezdemir.
Thiago Santos, 37, is a veteran in the 205 lb divison, and even had a crack at Jones' title not too long ago. Despite not beating Jones, Santos is still a force to be reckoned with at LHW, and his lighting-fast strikes can end a fight in a split second.
I think father time is starting to catch up with Santos, and it pains me to say because I really think he's one of the most exciting guys in his division.
Rakic is on his way up, and with an 8-year age advantage for Rakic, I think he might be able to pull this up.
To add to the notion that Santos is getting old, he has been quite injury prone since blowing out both his knees against Jon Jones, and really looked like a shell of himself in his last outing against 41-year old Glover Teixeira, getting submitted in the third round.
Aleksandar's leg kicks could easily get Santos out of there quickly, one of the main reasons I'm going with him to win this weekend. On the ground, Rakic could also have his way with the Brazilian, meaning there are simply more paths to victory for the youngster in this fight.
Give me Aleksandar Rakic via decision at +225 (bet $100 to win $225).
UFC 259: Aleksandar Rakic vs. Thiago Santos Predictions
Aleksandar Rakic def. Thiago Santos by decision (+225) at BetMGM
Odds & Bouts Subject to Change
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