UFC 281 Odds, Props, & Picks: Adesanya vs. Pereira Headlines Star-Powered Card at MSG

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UFC middleweight legend Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya looks for his sixth straight title defense when he faces kickboxing rival Alex “Poatan” Pereira in the main event of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.

Fans and bettors get to see two championship bouts and a whole bunch of big-name fighters in this pay-per-view event from New York on November 12. Here’s a rundown of odds and props for UFC 281.

UFC 281 Main Event Odds: Adesanya vs. Pereira

The animosity between Adesanya and Pereira stems from their days as pro kickboxers, with the Brazilian beating his foe in both of their matches (once by knockout).

Although Pereira had the upper hand in kickboxing, this is a mixed martial arts bout that favors Adesanya. The Nigerian champ – priced between -205 and -225 on the moneyline as of November 11 – is the favorite in an unofficial “trilogy” bout over the challenger, whose odds are between +162 and +180.

Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira Odds UFC Odds

UFC · Sat (11/12) @ 10:00 pm ET

Israel Adesanya at Alex Pereira
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

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UFC 281 Betting Card

In the co-main event, champion Carla Esparza (between +275 and +310) defends her 115-pound strap as a major underdog against former titleholder Zhang Weili (between -330 and -420).

Right before the co-main is a lightweight clash between two former title challengers: Dustin Poirier (between -215 and -230) and Michael Chandler (between +175 and +190). The winner of this all-important matchup may see a title shot in his near future.

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UFC 281 Event Info

  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022
  • Start Time: Prelims at 8:00 p.m. ET | Main Card at 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+ or PPV
Israel Adesanya (right), here beating Jared Cannonier in July, is the betting favorite vs. Alex Pereira, per early UFC 281 odds (AP Photo/John Locher)

Adesanya vs. Pereira Betting Preview

Adesanya

What can’t we say about Adesanya’s fight career? A multi-champion in MMA, kickboxing, and boxing alike, the world-class striker (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) has become one of the most unstoppable and accomplished middleweights in the sport.

The Last Stylebender went undefeated in his first 11 pro MMA fights (all finishes) before entering the UFC, where he’s been just as impressive. He defeated every middleweight opponent in his path before knocking out top rival Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 in 2019 to claim the gold. 

Since then, the 33-year-old Nigerian has successfully defended his belt five straight times, including most recently against the power-punching Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 last July.

Adesanya’s lone MMA defeat was to then-light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in a bid to become just the fifth fighter double champ in UFC history.

Widely regarded as one of the best two-way strikers in the world, the six-foot-four Stylebender is a phenomenal counter-striker who uses his height and reach advantages both to land and avoid shots. He’s never been outstruck in a UFC bout, and has never been knocked down in the UFC.

Adesanya has zero ground game whatsoever, though that won’t come back to haunt him against a fellow kickboxer in Pereira.

Pereira

Pereira (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) can be best described as a dark horse. He has spent most of his fight career as a kickboxer – a great one at that – before transitioning to MMA in 2015.

The Brazilian took a four-year hiatus after just his first two MMA bouts, but kept busy by becoming a middleweight and light heavyweight champion with kickboxing promotion Glory.

At the ripe old age of 35, Pereira would then get promoted to the UFC and pick up back-to-back wins against unranked opponents before facing his toughest challenge to date. In his most recent outing, Poatan knocked out top contender Sean Strickland with a nasty left hook in the first round.

It’s hard to judge the ability of a fighter who has just seven career MMA fights and just one win against a ranked opponent. However, it was enough to convince the UFC that he deserves a shot at dethroning his old foe on November 12.

UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereia Props

Bettors can wager on a boatload of props for the event’s headliner. Here are the best odds for various prop bets around the industry:

Method of Victory
Adesanya by submission (+1500, BetRivers)
Adesanya by KO/TKO/DQ (+360, FanDuel)
Adesanya by decision (+130, FanDuel)
Pereira by submission (+2800, Caesars)
Pereira by KO/TKO/DQ (+275, DraftKings)
Pereira by decision (+800, DraftKings)

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Total Rounds
4.5 (Over -130, DraftKings; Under +120, FanDuel)

Note: 2:30 minute mark of each round indicates the ‘half-round’ for under/over bets. For example, if you bet on Over 2.5 rounds, the fight would have to exceed the 2:30 minute mark of the fifth round for you to win.

Alternate Total Rounds
0.5 (O -10000, DraftKings; U +1200, DraftKings)
1.5 (O -550, DraftKings; U +400, Caesars)
2.5 (O -280, DraftKings; U +230, BetMGM)
3.5 (O -190, DraftKings; U +170, BetMGM)

Will Fight Go the Distance?
Yes (-112, FanDuel)
No (-110, FanDuel)

How Fight Will End
Submission (+1100, FanDuel)
KO/TKO/DQ (+125, BetMGM)
Decision (-117, PointsBet)

UFC 281 Main Card Odds

Here’s the main card lineup for UFC 281, along with each fighter’s corresponding moneyline odds at DraftKings (as of Friday morning, November 11):

— Middleweight Title Bout: Israel Adesanya (-205) vs. Alex Pereira (+175)
— Women’s Strawweight Title Bout: Carla Esparza (+275) vs. Zhang Weili (-330)
— Lightweight Bout: Dustin Poirier (-215) vs. Michael Chandler (+185)
— Bantamweight Bout: Frankie Edgar (+195) vs. Chris Gutierrez (-2300)
— Lightweight Bout: Dan Hooker (-145) vs. Claudio Puelles (+125)

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About the Author
Cyrus Eshaghoff

Cyrus Eshaghoff

Sports Betting Writer
Cyrus Eshaghoff is a New York-based sports writer. Whether it's heated debates or uncovering statistical insights, he loves discussing sports. Check out his Twitter account (@CyrusEshaghoff).

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