While the Tournament is a few weeks off, it is a great time to bet early on who will the 2021 March Madness bracket.
UFC 259 Betting Predictions
A fantastic fight card with three title fights makes UFC 259 a must-watch and wager on event on March 6 in Las Vegas.
Wow! Three title fights on one card – I cannot think of a better way to spend the first weekend of March. Along with the headliner between Jan Blachowicz defending the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Israel Adesanya (the current Middleweight championship), Megan Anderson is challenging UFC Featherweight Champion Amanda Nunes, and Petr Yan steps into the Octagon against Aljamain Sterling with the UFC Bantamweight belt on the line. You can find our UFC 259 betting predictions below.
Main Event Predictions – Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya
|Israel Adesanya||1.40||2.80||Jan Blachowicz|
- Jan Blachowicz – Record 27-8 – Last Fight: Won the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Dominick Reyes
- Israel Adesanya – Record 20-0 – Last Fight: Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship against Paulo Costa
Israel Adesanya opens as the favourite over Jan Blachowicz – even though he is moving up a weight class – as he tries to become the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously. Both fighters’ last appearance was at UFC 253 back in September.
Adesanya is one of the most talented fighters in the UFC (placing third on the pound-per-pound rankings) – and his skills should translate fine when he moves up one division. He will have his handfuls against Blachowicz – who is the 14th ranked pound-per-pound fighter.
These fighters are pretty even in many categories. Both guys are at a significant strike rate of 48%, and each is averaging between three and four strikes per minute. Blachowicz brings more grappling abilities than Adesanya (who does not attempt takedowns).
However, Adesanya is a superb takedown defender at 86%. Adesanya also ranks top ten all-time in the Middleweight division – averaging 1.21 knockdowns per 15 minutes.
Overall, this should be a great and close fight. Adesanya is the better fighter and gets the edge, in our opinion – even if he is going up a weight class.
Pick: Israel Adesanya (1.40) to Win the Light Heavyweight Championship
Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson
|Amanda Nunes||1.12||6.25||Megan Anderson|
- Amanda Nunes – Record 20-4 – Last Fight: Defender the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship against Felicia Spencer
- Megan Anderson – Record 11-4 – Last Fight: Beat Norma Dumont by KO
Nunes enters this fight coming off three consecutive title defences, with her last at UFC 250 -and we are betting on her to defend it successfully for the fourth time. Nunes is one of the best fighters ever to grace the Featherweight division.
She is a perfect blend of power, skill, and stamina – able to last five rounds and win by decision (which she did in her last fight against Spencer) or knockout opponents in early rounds (which she did against Cris Cyborg to win the belt and against Holly Holm in her first defence).
Anderson has lost to Holm and Spencer in her career – which does not paint a good picture for her fighting Nunes. Anderson bests hopes of winning this one rely on Nunes taking the fight a slower (as she did in her last two, which were wins by unanimous decisions). However, we do not think Anderson has the technical skills to outscore Nunes, and we do not like her chances of knocking the champ.
Pick: Amanda Nunes (1.12) to Defend the UFC Featherweight Championship
Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling
|Petr Yan||1.72||2.10||Aljamain Sterling|
|Over 4.5 Rounds||2.30||1.57||Under 4.5 Rounds|
- Petr Yan – Record 15-1 – Last Fight: Won the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship against Jose Aldo
- Aljamain Sterling – Record 19-3 – Last Fight: Beat Cory Sandhagen in a UFC Bantamweight title eliminator bout.
Of the three title fights at UFC 259, the one between Yan and Sterling for the Bantamweight belt is the closest to call. The top two Bantamweight fighters are both on lengthy winning streaks (ten straight for Yan, five in a row for Sterling). The two fighters offer differing styles in the Octagon yet surprisingly counter each other well.
Yan is a strong and accurate striker (winning seven of his 15 fights by KO/TKO) but faces a tough challenge against Sterling, who absorbs only 1.94 strikes per minute. Sterling is an aggressive fighter who wants to take the fight to the ground. The challenge for Sterling is landing takedown attempts. Sterling lands only 29% of his takedown attempts, compared to Yan, who defends 87% of takedown attempts against him.
We think these two fighters will be locked in a lengthy battle against each other that could go either way, so instead of picking a winner (although if we had to lean one way, we would go with Yan to win), we are betting on the fight to last over 4.5 rounds.
Pick: Over 4.5 Rounds (2.30)
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