Is this Saturday’s UFC 259 fight card the best lineup the UFC has ever put on? It rates just a bit behind UFC 245, which featured three title fights, in my fight card rankings, but it’s close. And, like UFC 245, this Saturday’s slate has three titles on the line, featuring four champions.
The reason it’s four champions and not three is because the main event is a champ vs champ battle. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz will make his first title defense against UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. And, as is rarely the case, the defending champ is the underdog in this fight. Adesanya currently is at 5/12 while Blachowicz sits at
Despite the rareness of it, I agree with the line. The Last Stylebender is the pick to go with here. While he won’t be as strong or thick as Blachowicz, he’s got the length advantage and a definitive speed one, which he should lean on in this fight. Look for the Polish champ to go on one of his signature striking blitzes and the New Zealand challenger to piece him up with counterpunches. Adesanya via (T)KO might be worth a little splash of money.
Anderson Takes On the G.O.A.T.
The second title fight of the night is for the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship, with women’s GOAT and two division champion Amanda Nunes taking on Megan Anderson. I’ve already written about this fight twice in past articles – here’s my breakdown from back when it was first scheduled:
While Anderson, standing 6’0” with a 72.5-inch reach, will be the bigger of the two combatants, that is pretty much the only advantage she’ll have once the cage door slams shut. The Aussie hasn’t exactly set the UFC world aflame, going 3-2 in the promotion and having lost both times she’s gotten a step up in competition. However, she is a legit featherweight and is on a two-fight winning streak, which is good enough to get a title shot in the women’s 145-pound division, which really isn’t a division at all.
Nunes is currently on the MansionBet board at
1/14, so probably not much value in playing her unless you want to risk some big bucks. If you absolutely want to play it, go with some form of prop bet with Nunes winning via stoppage early in the fight.
Bantamweight Championship: Yan v Sterling
Which brings us to title fight number three – for the UFC Men’s Bantamweight Championship. New champ Petr Yan will be making his first defense against top challenger Aljamain Sterling in a fight that is pretty much a pick ‘em on the boards (Yan is
10/11). This is very tough fight to call, as the betting line speaks to, but I’m leaning towards the champion to retain. Yan has won 10 straight fights, is four years younger than Sterling, and has never been finished in a fight (he has one pro loss via decision). I think his punching power and solid grappling game can get him the W here.
It’s a pretty chalky card, in my eyes, but the stats say there should be at least five underdogs coming through on a 15-fight lineup. I like Rogerio Bontorin at
11/10 for his flyweight tilt against Kai Kara-France. I think he has the grappling and submission skills to beat the New Zealander, and if you feel extra frisky take him via submission. Also check out Jake Matthews at
33/20 for his welterweight top prospect battle against Sean Brady. I think his experience could win this one for him. Other than those two I’m going with the favourites for the rest of the card.
*All odds correct at time of writing.