The next major MMA event takes place on Saturday night, with UFC 259 live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The main event features light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz battling middleweight titlist Israel Adesanya.
As always with a UFC event, there are certainly plenty of bets to be made. Let's take a look at some of them.
UFC 259 odds for Blachowicz vs. Adesanya
Israel Adesanya: -250
Jan Blachowicz: +210
(All odds via BetMGM)
BetMGM has Adesanya installed as a surprisingly huge favorite — as of Tuesday, he comes in at -250, meaning you'd need to bet $250 to win $100. Meanwhile, Blachowicz is a +210, meaning if you pluck down $100, you will win $210.
Blachowicz's (27-8) enters his first title defense having reeled off four consecutive victories, highlighted off by running through Dominick Reyes via second-round TKO at UFC 253 to win the vacant light heavyweight championship and capture UFC gold for the first time. It appeared former 205-pound title challenger Glover Teixeira would be next for the native of Poland, but a surprising name emerged into the conversation.
Adesanya (20-0) won the interim belt in a back-and-forth war against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in April 2019. Six months later at UFC 243, Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker in the second round to become the undisputed champion. "The Last Style Bender" last fought on the same show as Blachowicz when he thrashed Paulo Costa via second-round TKO. Instead of taking a rematch against former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker, Adesanya wanted a new challenge. He had a meeting with UFC president Dana White and expressed his desire to move up and challenge Blachowicz.
And here we are.
Despite the shockingly wide odds, this is a closer fight than the numbers are indicating. There's no question how great of a competitor Adesanya is. He's undefeated for a reason. Out of his 20 wins (last 10 in the UFC), Adesanya' won 15 of those via stoppage (five in the UFC). Look at what he did to the previously unbeaten Costa. He had the Brazilian on his back foot throughout and reluctant to use his impressive punching power.
Blachowicz is no joke. He started his UFC run by 1-2. Being on the verge of possibly getting his walking papers, Blachowicz went on a torrid stretch by winning seven of his next fights, with five of those wins coming via stoppage (two submissions, three knockouts).
Because Adesanya's looked this good at middleweight doesn't mean his excellent skills will resonate at light heavyweight. There are weight classes for a reason. The only advantage that Adesanya possesses is in the speed department. You have to give Blachowicz the edge in power and if he can get Adesanya on the ground.
For Adesanya to win, he's going to have to be like a surgeon. He needs to be tactical and pick his spots at range. Getting into a clinch situation does him no good because Blachowicz could take him down, blast him with the strong left hand, or grind him to the point of exhaustion because of his significant weight advantage.
For Blachowicz, he needs to do what brought him to the big stage. He's got massive power in both hands and a better-than-average ground attack. If he can avoid or block Adesanya's leg kicks, it should be an easy night at the office.
When it's all said and done, the power and weight will be too much for "The Last Style Bender," and Blachowicz is going to use his "Polish Power" to retain the light heavyweight title and hand Adesanya his first professional defeat.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya prediction
Muehlhausen pick: Jan Blachowicz
Best odds: Jan Blachowicz to win by KO/TKO, DQ or submission: +340
More Blachowicz vs. Adesanya odds
Total number or rounds: over/under
- Over 1.5: -250
- Under 1.5: +195
Will the fight go the distance?
- Yes: +170
- No: -200
Method of victory
- Adesanya by KO/TKO/DQ: +115
- Adesanya by submission: +1900
- Adesanya by decision: +250
- Tie/technical tie: +5000
- Blachowicz by KO/TKO/DQ: +500
- Blachowicz by submission: +650
- Blachowicz by decision: +900