UFC 259 Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz takes place this Saturday and is one of the biggest cards of the year. The fight card includes a scintillating three title fights on the main card and a slew of undercard fights. Everyone wants the best bets for UFC 259 and look no further than here. Each fight includes analysis for the best bets on the card.
The full betting preview includes the best value to the UFC bettor. I do not recommend betting on big favorites. Instead, I find the value in their method of victories or even round props. Lastly, all stats are provided by UFCStats.
UFC 259 Odds & Best Bets
Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic (-160)
The first fight on the main card is at the light heavyweight division. Rakic is coming off of a dominating victory over Anthony “Lionheart” Smith. Rakic is 5-1 in the UFC with his one loss coming in a split decision loss to Oezdemir – I think Rakic won this fight.
Thiago Santos has seen his career stall for a bit. He fought Jon Jones for the title in a split decision loss and was submitted by Glover Teixeira. Teixeira dominated Santos in this fight and makes me seriously worried about his ability to beat a rising star in Rakic.
Rakic rarely gets hit – just 1.99 significant strikes absorbed per minute good for third-best in the division. Also, Rakic is second in the division in top position percentage – when he lands a takedown he stays on top and does not give it up. Santos absorbed four takedowns in November against Teixeira.
Santos will have a very difficult time knocking Rakic out so I will favor Rakic here. I would expect Rakic to land takedowns in bunches – he does not have a submission victory on his resume.
UFC 259 Best Bets: Rakic via Decision +240 BetRivers Sportsbook
Islam Makhachev (-375) vs. Drew Dober
Heralded as the ‘next Khabib” by training partners Daniel Cormier and Khabib himself – Makhachev is a scary opponent. Furthermore, Islam has some of the nastiest submissions in the division. He has landed 3 or more takedowns in four of his eight fights.
In Dober’s last fight, he knocked out Alexander Hernandez. His stand-up is very solid so everyone has a ‘puncher’s chance’. However, Dober does get takedown a lot which is scary against a guy like Makachev. Even Alexander Hernandez took him down three times, who has nowhere near the grappling skills of Makhachev.
In the UFC, I never bet massive favorites straight up. I would rather bet smaller amounts at the best value for that fighter.
UFC 259 Best Bets: Islam Makhachev via submission +420 FanDuel Sportsbook
Petr Yan (-115) vs. Aljamain Sterling
15-1 Russian-born Petr Yan faces off against Aljmain Sterling in the first title fight of the card. This is a tough one – no sportsbook has had a clear read on it. This is the extremely rare championship fight pick ’em’.
Yan is undefeated in the UFC and has dominated most of his opponents. The issue is that the opponents have not been at the caliber Sterling’s opponents. Sterling is 19-3 with multiple submissions to his resume.
This fight is just that, a 50/50 can go either way fight. My lean here would be Petr Yan. Yan lands 6.32 significant strikes per minute compared to just 4.82 for Sterling. Sterling relies heavily on his takedowns to win fights – Yan defends takedowns at an 88% clip which is phenomenal.
UFC 259 Best Bets: Petr Yan -115 William Hill Sportsbook
Amanda Nunes (-1250) vs. Megan Anderson
The biggest favorite on the card is Amanda Nunes and it is as big as we have seen. Nunes is one of the strongest women fighters that we have seen and there is little reason to believe that she will not win again.
Megan Anderson has a chance in this fight – I have always thought that she is underrated. I believe that this matchup is too much too soon for Anderson. She is 3-2 in the UFC with no signature victories over contenders.
Nunes is the play here and the only opportunity is on her method of victory. I don’t see much value in her winning inside the distance props. I grabbed Nunes by a decision on PointsBet sportsbook +1050 which was moved down to +580. This is still too high – but there is little value in this fight overall. Instead, I will bet on an early feeling out process between the much bigger Anderson and Nunes.
UFC 259 Best Bets: Over 1.5 rounds -136 PointsBet Sportsbook
Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz
Finally, we get to the main event. Israel Adesanya is an alien with his striking and is incredibly skilled. He has the heart of a lion, has unbelievable movement. “Izzy” is 20-0 and unbelievable to watch. This will be his first test at light heavyweight (205 lbs).
Jan Blachowicz is the light heavyweight champion and looks to provide a rude awakening for Izzy. Blachowicz has multiple finishes in the octagon. Four of his last five wins are inside the distance. The most important piece of this fight is Blachowicz is much bigger than Adesanya.
Adesanya weighed in at 200.5 pounds (205lb limit) which is roughly where he will weigh in this fight. Blachowicz weighed in at the limit and will surely gain his weight back over the next 24 hours. Expect Blachowicz to weigh closer to 220-225 when walks in there.
The underdog’s value is fantastic here. Israel Adesanya is undefeated and might be the best welterweight of all time. However, I will take the underdog here. Blachowicz is going to weigh 30 pounds more than Izzy in this fight.
UFC 259 Best Bets: Jan Blachowicz +187 & via KO +420 DraftKings Sportsbook