UFC Best Bets for UFC 259: Blachowicz vs Adesanya

UFC Best Bets for UFC 259: Blachowicz vs Adesanya
Fri 5th March 2021

Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz

The highly anticipated main event for UFC 259 sees “The Last Stylebender”, Israel Adesanya, move up a weight division to face the current light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz. 

For Adesanya, who is currently the middleweight title holder, this bout is his chance to join the small group of fighters to hold 2 titles at once, and for Blachowicz, this fight will be his first title defense, and he will not be too keen to hand it over to a middleweight without a fight.

With a record of 20-0-0, Adesanya is undefeated in both UFC and as a professional MMA fighter, and is known for being one of the most technically impressive fighters in the world. Coupled with impeccable defensive ability, Adesanya utilises punches, knees, elbows and kicks at devastating speed to dominate his fights.

The big Polishman, Blachowicz, sits at 205 pounds, 10 higher than his Adesanya, and will be looking to utilise his sheer punching power against his lighter opponent. Since joining the UFC back in 24, the veteran fighter has experienced ups and downs, but he has won his last 4 fights, with the last of those a title fight against Dominick Reyes in September.

Head to head Blachowicz outweighs Adesanya, however, that is unlikely to mean much as Adesanya has 2 extra inches of both height and reach. Blachowicz definitely has the strength to withstand 5 rounds, but it seems unlikely that he will get the chance to crack the defense of Adesanya, and if it goes to a decision then we expect Adesanya to win.

To Win Fight: Israel Adesanya (-227)
To Win by Decision: Israel Adesanya (+275)

Petr Yan Vs Aljamain Sterling

This Bantamweight title fight will be Petr Yan’s first title defense, and he will be going up against a deserving opposition in the form of Aljamain Sterling, who has battled his way to this championship bout.

The Russian, Yan, 15-1-0, is unbeaten since joining the UFC in 2018, and is coming off the back of his title winning fight against Jose Aldo in July last year.

Yan is a skilled boxer, and has an impeccable ground game, allowing him to strike from any position. He tends to take his time when he fights, generally figuring out his opponents in the early rounds before looking for an opportunity to finish.

Sterling goes into this bout as the older fighter, at 31, and will be fighting on his home soil. He has 7 years experience in the UFC, and a fighting record of 19-3-0, winning the last 5 of his matches, earning him this title opportunity. 

Head to head, the two of these fighters are very similar, both standing at 5’7” and 135 pounds. Sterling only has one knockout loss, and has never fought for longer than three rounds before, which could spell trouble as the fight progresses, where Yan will likely be striking at a higher percentage than the early rounds.

Yan is the stronger fighter, able to box from both orthodox and switch positions which could be the deciding factor in a match likely to be called by judges’ decision. Sterling will not make it easy for Yan though, whose defence will have to be at its best, especially in the early rounds as Sterling tries to take it to the ground.

To Win Fight: Petr Yan (-125)
To Win By Decision: Petr Yan (+260)

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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.

Connor is a passionate writer and sporting fanatic, with a focus on all things soccer, NBA, and NHL. Happy to chew your ear off about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, or talk odds on the latest ball game. Connor always delivers the latest in breaking news, matchday analysis and predictions.