Undefeated middleweight champion Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya (20-0, 15 KOs) will move up to challenge light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (27-8, 8 KOs, 9 SUBs) at UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card airs live on pay-per-view starting 10pm ET. In the co-main events, women's featherweight champion Amanda Nunes (20-4, 13 KOs, 3 SUBs) will defend her title against Megan Anderson (11-4, 6 KOs, 3 SUBs) and bantamweight king Petyr Yan (15-1, 7 KOs, 1 SUB) makes his first title defense against Aljamain Sterling (19-3, 2 KOs, 8 SUBs). Let's take a closer look at the Adesanya vs. Blachowicz odds and break down your best UFC online betting options.
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How high can The Last Stylebender rise? He's the undefeated middleweight champ and one of the biggest stars in the sport. Now, Adesanya is looking to become one of the rare few to hold belts in two divisions. Should he succeed, the sky's the limit - perhaps even a long-awaited superfight with Jon "Bones" Jones. But Blachowicz keeps getting overlooked, and has a very real chance to spoil the party.
Israel Adesanya (20-0, 15 KOs)
This is a bad mother-shutyomouth with all the charisma of a superstar. It doesn't matter that he doesn't have a monster highlight reel of earth-shaking knockouts, but nobody can deny his resume: wins over Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa speak for themselves. In some cases, like Whittaker and Costa, Adesanya straight up styled on his opponents. In others, like Romero and Gastelum, the champ had to gut out five rounds. The common thread here? Nobody's been able to figure him out.
The 31-year old might be a lean 6'4", but he holds a ton of natural strength on his wiry frame. Though foes have been quick to call him skinny, none have succeeded in physically overpowering him. The prevailing theory is that a strong wrestler could take him down and control him, but Adesanya's athleticism and rapidly improving defense has denied anybody from ever taking that route. And if you're forced to kickbox against Adesanya then you've got to deal with the most talented natural striker since Anderson Silva. Not fun.
Jan Blachowicz (27-8, 8 KOs, 9 SUBs)
Did anybody ever think that Blachowicz would one day have the light heavyweight strap around his waist? There was a two year stretch where he lost four of five, dropping decisions to Jimi Manuwa, Corey Anderson, Alexander Gustafsson and Patrick Cummins. But then something changed, as the Polish rep went on to win eight of his last nine - including a title-winning knockout of Dominick Reyes. It helped that the light heavyweight division never really improved, but Blachowicz undeniably achieved a killer final form.
What changed? First was a marked improvement in cardio that fixed his tendency to gas early. Next was establishing an effective jab. That jab unlocked an excellent technical striking game, giving him newfound confidence in his striking power - four of his past five wins have come by KO. He hits a lot harder than you think.
Significant Striking Stats
Strikes landed per minute: Blachowicz 3.45 / Adesanya 3.96
Striking accuracy: Blachowicz 48% / Adesanya 48%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Blachowicz 2.77 / Adesanya 2.4
Striking defense: Blachowicz 54% / Adesanya 65%
Takedowns per 15 minutes: Blachowicz 1.16 / Adesanya 0
Takedown accuracy: Blachowicz 52% / Adesanya -
Takedown defense: Blachowicz 65% / Adesanya 86%
Submissions per 15 minutes: Blachowicz 0.27 / Adesanya 0.35
We'd like to see a +300 line on Blachowicz before we bite. His Polish power is real, and his patient striking game could make this closer than the odds suggest. Adesanya is a bit to pricey for our taste, so we're going with the fight goes to decision prop. Stylebender is more a knockout threat as a genuis counterstriker against ultra-aggressive opponents, and we're not sure if Blachowicz is quick enough to catch him. We see this being a pick-your-potshot matchup, leading to the scorecards. We love the fact that you can get nearly 2-1 odds here.
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya Card & Odds
Light Heavyweight - Jan Blachowicz +203 vs. Israel Adesanya -250
Women's Featherweight - Megan Anderson +725 vs. Amanda Nunes -1250
Bantamweight - Aljamain Sterling -115 vs. Petr Yan -109
Light Heavyweight - Thiago Santos +130 vs. Aleksandar Rakic -157
Bantamweight - Casey Kenney -137 vs. Dominick Cruz +113
Lightweight - Drew Dober +280 vs. Islam Makhachev -356
Flyweight - Joseph Benavidez +113 vs. Askar Askarov -137
Welterweight - Jake Matthews +170 vs. Sean Brady -206
Lightweight - Aalon Cruz +147 vs. Uroš Medic -176
Flyweight - Jordan Espinosa -127 vs. Tim Elliott +103
Bantamweight - Kyler Phillips +127 vs. Song Yadong -152
Flyweight - Kai Kara-France -137 vs. Rogério Bontorin +113
Women's Strawweight - Lívia Renata Souza +184 vs. Amanda Lemos -225
Light Heavyweight - Kennedy Nzechukwu +196 vs. Carlos Ulberg -240
Bantamweight - Trevin Jones +191 vs. Mario Bautista -235
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