UFC 259 Blachowicz vs Adesanya: Odds, Picks & Predictions
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The UFC returns on Saturday with its third pay-per-view event of 2021, It probably won’t be the biggest card in terms of buy rate (Conor McGregor fought in January) but UFC 259 might be the most stacked card of the year. In the main event, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya moves up to light heavyweight to pursue his second world title, challenging current champion Jan Blachowicz.
That alone would be a big deal but UFC 259 doesn’t stop there. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes defends her featherweight title against Megan Anderson and a third title fight has bantamweight champion Petr Yan defending his belt against top contender Aljamain Sterling.
That’s three title fights, four champions, and five world titles represented on one card, plus a bevy of other great bouts for UFC betting so let’s jump right into it.
UFC 259 Betting Lines & Picks
Additional UFC 259 Prop Bets to Back
Amanda Nunes to defeat Megan Anderson by KO/TKO, +110 at William Hill
Petr Yan to defeat Aljamain Sterling by decision, +350 at PointsBet
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs Adesanya Prediction
Simply put, Israel Adesanya is the best striker in MMA and probably the best striker in MMA history. He can do anything you can imagine on his feet and even some things you can’t imagine. That’s why he’s the favorite in this bout and if this were just a kickboxing affair, that would be right. However, this is MMA and Jan Blachowicz presents some serious challenges for Adesanya.
Blachowicz can kickbox, wrestle and grapple, and do it all at a good level. He is also much larger than Adesanya and pairing that with his diverse skill set is going to give the middleweight champion problems. At range, Adesanya will have the advantage but he’s not an enormous power puncher and so Blachowicz won’t be dead in the water there. When it gets in close, that’s where the Legendary Polish Power can excel, clinching and wrestling with the smaller man and wearing him out along the fence and on the mat.
The longer the fight goes, the more Blachowicz can drain Adesanya and so I like his chances to pull off the upset. I even think it’s worthwhile to sprinkle some money on the Blachowicz by Decision prop bet at +850. Wager on Blachowicz at +200 with Caesars.
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UFC 259: Cruz vs Kenney Prediction
By any estimation, Dominick Cruz is either the greatest or second-greatest bantamweight ever. He’s 35 so it’s understandable that he is not as quick as he once was. But he still shouldn’t be an underdog against Casey Kenney in this bout. Casey is a talented prospect but he has a clearly defined weakness for wrestling (Merab Dvalishvili took him down 12 times) and Cruz is one of the best ever at setting up shots and scoring takedowns.
On the feet, Cruz’s trademark footwork will confuse Kenney and I expect him to land takedowns consistently. Cruz should win handily; bet on him at +115 with FOX Bet.
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UFC 259: Benavidez vs Askarov Prediction
Similar to Cruz, Joseph Benavidez should not be an underdog to Askar Askarov. Benavidez is one of the best flyweights ever and was only denied being a long-reigning champion by the presence of arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Demetrious Johnson, competing at the same time. Though he has fallen off somewhat recently, Benavidez still possesses more skill than a vast majority of flyweights.
Askarov is a much-hyped prospect mostly because of his gaudy record and an absence of other contenders in the division but he’s a limited fighter who needs takedowns to succeed. Benavidez remains exceedingly good at stuffing shots and creating scrambles when he is taken down. Benavidez should be favored so jump on this value at +112 with FanDuel.
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UFC 259: Nunes vs Anderson Prediction
Of all the fights on the card, this one is the most straightforward. Amanda Nunes is the undisputed GOAT of women’s MMA and her run through both the women’s bantamweight and women’s featherweight divisions is among the most impressive in MMA history. In Anderson, Nunes faces the last woman of her generation who she has not beaten, but that will be rectified on Saturday.
Anderson is a good striker and an enormous featherweight, but her skills pale in comparison to the greatest female fighter ever in UFC. Anderson is going to focus on not getting taken down; Nunes will likely oblige her and instead just crack the slower Anderson with punches until the fight is stopped. Ride with Nunes by KO/TKO at +110 with William Hill.
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UFC 259: Yan vs. Sterling Prediction
The third title fight on UFC 259 is a pick’em fight and with good reason: it’s one of the most compelling UFC matchups possible. Yan is the bantamweight champion and nearly undefeated in his career (losing a bad split decision that he avenged a fight later). A hot-shot prospect with infinite upside, Sterling had some missteps early in his UFC career but finally seems to be putting it all together in his pursuit of the title. This is the kind of fight that should make the hair on your neck stand up.
From a technical standpoint, the matchup is no less intriguing. Yan uses boxing combinations and occasional wrestling to push a ridiculous pace on his opponents, who break as the fight goes on. Conversely, Sterling is a grappling-first fighter with competent striking who can end the fight swiftly with dynamic transitions on the mat. Ultimately, I favor the former to have more success.
In an evenly split fight, the combatant who works more will almost always curry favor with the judges and Yan is going to push the higher pace. If Sterling can consistently score takedowns, that changes the equation but that doesn’t seem likely, especially as the bout carries on into the later rounds. Sterling might start strong, but unless he can finish it early, Yan’s cardio and pressure should overtake Sterling. Bet on Yan by decision at +350 with PointsBet.
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UFC 259 Date, Time & TV Information
When is UFC 259?
UFC 259 is March 6 in Las Vegas.
What Time is UFC 259?
The main card is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET; prelims begin at 6 p.m.
Where Can I Watch UFC 259?
The UFC 259 main card is on ESPN+ PPV; prelims are on Fight Pass, ESPN and ESPN+.