UFC 259 is the third pay-per-view of the year and is a big one with three championship fights. The first sees Petr Yan defending his bantamweight strap against Aljamain Sterling. In the co-main event, the women’s greatest of all time, Amanda Nunes, puts her featherweight belt on the line vs Megan Anderson. Lastly, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz for light heavyweight gold.
Looking at the UFC 259
odds, current champions Yan and Nunes are the chalk while the light heavyweight titleholder, Blachowicz, is the betting underdog to challenger Adesanya. We have the full UFC 259 odds and predictions as well as a preview for each fight on the main card below.
It seems that the UFC isn’t giving Jon Jones’ successor an easy first title defense as Jan Blachowicz has his hands full looking for his first five-fight winning streak. Being an underdog isn’t something new for Blachowicz, though, as he was +210 when he beat Dominick Reyes to
win the gold at UFC 253.
That same night at UFC 253, Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight belt against Paulo Costa. With his move up to the light heavyweight division, his perfect 20-0 record may be in jeopardy, even if the oddsmakers have him listed as the favorite.
UFC 259 Odds: Blachowicz vs Adesanya
Online sportsbook Bovada has released UFC 259 odds with Israel Adesanya listed as the -265 chalk and Jan Blachowicz coming in as a +205 underdog. This means you would have to wager $265 to profit $100 on an Adesanya victory while a $100 bet on a Blachowicz win would profit you $205.
Looking at the UFC 259
odds for Blachowicz vs Adesanya, our sports betting calculator tells us that Adesanya’s odds of -265 represent an implied win probability of 72.60 percent while Blachowicz’s odds of +205 have an implied win probability of 32.79 percent.
The largest favorite in the UFC 259
odds is in the co-main event with Amanda Nunes listed as a huge -1200 favorite and Megan Anderson set at +700. The tightest line comes in the prelim flyweight fight between Tim Elliott and Jordan Espinosa, a pick‘em with each fighter getting -115 odds. UFC 259 Betting Odds & Fight Card
UFC 259 Betting Odds & Fight Card
Light Heavyweight championship – Jan Blachowicz (+205) vs Israel Adesanya (-265)
Women’s Featherweight championship – Amanda Nunes (-1200) vs Megan Anderson (+700)
Bantamweight championship – Petr Yan (-145) vs Aljamain Sterling (+115) Lightweight – Islam Makhachev (-340) vs Drew Dober (+260)
Light Heavyweight – Thiago Santos (+140) vs Aleksandar Rakic (-170)
Prelims Bantamweight – Dominick Cruz (EVEN) vs Casey Kenney (-130)
Bantamweight – Song Yadong (-160) vs Kyler Phillips (+130)
Flyweight – Joseph Benavidez (-110) vs Askar Askarov (-120)
Women’s Strawweight – Livinha Souza (+145) vs Amanda Lemos (-175)
Welterweight – Sean Brady (-240) vs Jake Matthews (+190)
Light Heavyweight – Kennedy Nzechukwu (+170) vs Carlos Ulberg (-210)
Flyweight – Rogerio Bontorin (+120) vs Kai Kara-France (-150)
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UFC 259: Blachowicz vs Adesanya Broadcast Information
Date/Time: March 6, 6 p.m. ET
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Arena: UFC Apex Center
Where to Watch: ESPN, ESPN+, PPV Jan Blachowicz vs Israel Adesanya Odds & Prediction
After beating nearly all of the middleweight contenders and winning the title, the only logical move for Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya
was to try his hand at light heavyweight. Looking to give Adesanya a rude welcome to the new weight class is Jan Blachowicz (-265) , who has won eight of his last nine fights. (+205)
Blachowicz: Need to Knows
The beginning of Blachowicz’s UFC career didn’t go as planned when he dropped four of his first six fights, all by decision, but he turned a corner in late 2017 to go on his current roll and
win the belt. He is a well-rounded fighter with 17 of his 27 pro wins coming by stoppage, with nine submissions and eight knockouts as a result of the famed Polish Power. He has been stopped just three times and only once in his last 20 bouts.
Although he averages 1.10 takedowns per 15 minutes, he’s failed to secure a takedown over his last five fights and striking has been his approach. He averages 3.49 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.74.
Blachowicz tends to stand a little flat-footed as he looks to land heavy counters. He has good combinations and he sets up kicks really well, especially his left body kick that damaged Reyes in their title fight.
At times, he can be beaten to the punch moving backward, so he needs to be moving forward with his straight punches followed by his kicks. Everything he throws is heavy, but speed and footwork are his biggest nemesis.
Blachowicz’s last three fights were Jacare Souza (
win – split decision), Corey Anderson ( win – knockout) and Dominick Reyes ( win – knockout).
Adesanya: Need to Knows
Adesanya entered the UFC with a perfect 11-0 record (all knockout wins) and has continued his winning ways with another nine wins, four coming by knockout.
Don’t look for the Last Stylebender to attempt a takedown in this one as the kickboxer has secured a grand total of zero takedowns in his UFC career. On the feet, though, he averages 4.10 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.33 and he makes his opponents miss 65 percent of their strikes.
Despite moving up a weight class, Izzy will still hold a slight two-inch reach advantage in this bout. Adesanya has outstruck all nine of his UFC opponents, eight of them by double digits. He has incredible kicks and mixes them extremely well from low, middle and high.
His speed catches his opponents off guard and his fight IQ, evident in his mind games and the traps he lays, makes him a spectacle to watch. His opponents will often get caught watching him, which leads to them getting hit over and over again without returning damage themselves. Combinations and kicks are the way to get to Izzy, but he circles the cage very well.
Adesanya’s last three fights were Robert Whittaker (
win – knockout), Yoel Romero ( win – unanimous decision) and Paulo Costa ( win – knockout).
For more on this fight, see my Blachowicz vs Adesanya
odds analysis article. Prediction: Israel Adesanya (-265) via decision
Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Odds & Prediction
Arguably the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time, Amanda “Lioness” Nunes
looks to extend her 11-fight winning streak and make her second featherweight title defense. Seeking the major upset is Megan Anderson (-1200) , who has stopped her last two opponents in the first round. (+700)
Nunes: Need to Knows
After beating Miesha Tate for the bantamweight belt, Nunes hasn’t looked back, knocking off legends such as Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
Of Lioness’s 20 pro wins, 16 have been stoppages, with 13 knockouts and three submissions, while three of her four defeats have been finishes (two knockouts, one submission).
She is about as well-rounded as they come, averaging 2.53 takedowns per 15 minutes, including 14 takedowns over her last two bouts, while also outstriking each of her last 10 opponents.
Nunes is a very aggressive fighter, quickly closing the distance with a variety of strikes, and if she feels the edge there, she will keep it on the feet and pick her opponent apart. If she feels any threat, she takes the fight to the floor and swarms her foe there.
Nunes’ last three fights were Holly Holm (
win – knockout), Germaine de Randamie ( win – unanimous decision) and Felicia Spencer ( win – unanimous decision).
Anderson: Need to Knows
It has been a bit of a rocky road for Anderson in the UFC, dropping two of her first three fights, but she enters this bout on a two-fight winning streak. Prior to the UFC, she had been on a four-fight winning streak, all by knockout.
Nine of her 11 pro wins have been stoppages, with six knockouts and three submissions. Meanwhile, her four losses have come via two decision defeats and two submissions.
She is a true featherweight, standing six feet tall and having had some difficulties making the 145-pound limit in the past. Though she has a huge 72-inch reach, it is only three inches more than the champion’s.
Anderson does a good job throwing straight punches – and frequently a knee up the middle – to try to prevent takedowns, but her output simply isn’t enough. Additionally, when pressured, she tends to walk straight back instead of angling and she drops her hands. A priority for her in this fight will be to stop the takedowns as she only stuffs 53 percent of attempts against her.
Anderson’s last three fights were Felicia Spencer (loss – submission), Zarah Fairn (
win – submission) and Norma Dumon ( win – knockout). Prediction: Amanda Nunes (-1200) via knockout
Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling Odds & Prediction
A lengthy winning streak will come to a close between the two best bantamweights in the UFC. Petr “No Mercy” Yan
makes his first title defense since winning the belt last July and puts a nine-fight winning streak on the line. Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling (-145) has collected five wins in a row with his most recent being a first-round stoppage over top contender Cory Sandhagen. (+115)
Yan: Need to Knows
It didn’t take long for Yan to climb through the bantamweight rankings, getting a title bout in his seventh UFC fight. Eight of his 15 pro wins have been stoppages, with seven knockouts and one submission. His lone defeat came via a split decision in 2016, a loss he avenged a year later.
No Mercy has outstruck all but one opponent in the UFC, averaging 6.32 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 3.25. He has also secured at least one takedown in each of his last five bouts, averaging 1.46 takedowns per 15 minutes.
He is a tremendous boxer, with a great lead jab that he throws powerfully and accurately from either stance as he switches from orthodox to southpaw seamlessly. Yan doesn’t just head-hunt either, mixing up body shots to open up the head.
His kicks are also accurate but he uses them more as a means to set up his hands. In his last fight, Jose Aldo did have success with his leg kicks, an area Yan will have to work on. But when he’s active, his opponents don’t have a chance to throw kicks.
Yan’s last three fights were Jimmie Rivera (
win – unanimous decision), Urijah Faber ( win – knockout) and Jose Aldo ( win – knockout).
Sterling: Need to Knows
It has been a long road for Sterling to get his title fight. This is his 15th UFC fight, though he’s been in the mix for the last several years. A pair of split-decision losses and a first-round knockout stalled his progression but he finally has his shot.
Aljo is a long bantamweight with a 71-inch reach and he uses it well, averaging 4.82 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 1.94. He makes his opponent miss 66 percent of their strikes.
Although he has not secured a takedown in his last three fights, grappling is an area where Funk Master shines as he averages 1.89 takedowns per 15 minutes and eight of his 19 pro wins have been by submission.
Sterling often comes out very aggressive, taking away space and throwing plenty of strikes, but if his opponent stands his ground, he will become more patient. He is fast and does a good job throwing straight punches, but he has a bad tendency to drop his hands in striking exchanges, which can get him in trouble.
Sterling’s last three fights were Jimmie Rivera (
win – unanimous decision), Pedro Munhoz ( win – unanimous decision) and Cory Sandhagen ( win – submission). Prediction: Petr Yan (-145) via knockout
Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober Odds & Prediction
It has been a long layoff for Islam Makhachev
, who hasn’t competed since September 2019 but brings to the Octagon a six-fight winning streak. Drew Dober (-340) has won three straight, picking up two knockout victories in 2020. (+260)
Makhachev: Need to Knows
Inactivity has left many not knowing the skills of Makhachev, who is fighting for the first time in 18 months. However, he’s riding a six-fight winning streak and if not for a first-round knockout in 2015, he’d be a perfect 19-0.
Of his 18 pro wins, 10 have been stoppages with three knockouts and seven submissions. Like his best friend, Khabib Nurmagomedov, his main weapon is grappling. He averages 3.40 takedowns per 15 minutes.
That said, in his last appearance, he had no takedowns and outstruck his opponent 43-7 in terms of significant strikes. In fact, he averages 2.10 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 0.76 and he makes his opponents miss 72 percent of their strike attempts.
He has fast hands, especially his jab that is crisp and accurate and is often followed with a strong left hand.
Makhachev’s last three fights were Kajan Johnson (
win – submission), Arman Tsarukyan ( win – unanimous decision) and Davi Ramos ( win – unanimous decision).
Dober: Need to Knows
A submission loss to Beneil Dariush in early 2019 has been sandwiched by two three-fight winning streaks for Dober and he now seeks his first four-fight winning streak in the UFC.
Of Dober’s 23 pro wins, 16 have been stoppages, with 10 knockouts and six submissions. Four of nine losses have also been finishes, with one knockout and three submissions.
He is active on his feet, constantly bouncing in and out of range, and when he decides to throw, he does a good job throwing a straight one-two. He does tend to load up on strikes, which can lead to him being beat to the punch, but if he lands he does big damage.
Takedown defense has been an issue for Dober, who has stuffed just 58 percent of attempts against and has been taken down multiple times in three of his last six bouts.
Dober’s last three fights were Marco Polo Reyes (
win – knockout), Nasrat Haqparast ( win – knockout) and Alexander Hernandez ( win – knockout). Prediction: Islam Makhachev (-340) via submission
Thiago Santos vs Aleksandar Rakic Odds & Prediction
Former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago “Marreta” Santos
looks to get back in the (+140) win column for the first time in over two years and is coming off back-to-back defeats. Aiming to pile another loss on Santos’ record is Aleksandar “Rocket” Rakic , who rebounded from a controversial split-decision loss with a decisive (-170) win in his last outing in August.
Santos: Need to Knows
After moving up to light heavyweight in late 2018, Santos went on a tear with three straight knockouts, including one over current champion Jan Blachowicz, which led to a title fight with Jon Jones. He suffered several leg injuries in the split-decision loss, forcing him out of action for over a year.
Marreta has big power in his strikes with 15 of his 21 pro wins coming by knockout. Six of his eight losses have been stoppages, with three knockouts and three submissions.
He throws plenty of feints before letting his strikes go. Santos has really good kicks that he uses to set up his power hooks, which put people to sleep. An issue for him is stuffing takedowns as he only prevents 64 percent of attempts and on the floor really drains his energy, making him less explosive.
Santos’s last three fights were Jan Blachowicz (
win – knockout), Jon Jones (loss – split decision) and Glover Teixeira (loss – submission).
Rakic: Need to Knows
A controversial split-decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir is the only blemish on Rakic’s UFC record and his only defeat since his pro debut in 2011. Of his 13 pro wins, 10 have been stoppages, with nine knockouts and one submission.
He is a tremendous striker, outstriking all but one of his UFC opponents (in his
win over Jimi Manuwa, he and Manuwa tied with two significant strikes each), and he averages 4.66 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 1.99. Rocket has fantastic kicks and he changes the speed on them to keep his opponents guessing, especially with his leg kicks. When he’s pressured, he backs his foes up with stiff jabs or straights. At times, he can be countered over his straight punches, typically keeping his head on the centerline.
Rakic’s last three fights were Jimi Manuwa (
win – knockout), Volkan Oezdemir (loss – split decision) and Anthony Smith ( win – unanimous decision). Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic (-170) via decision
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs Adesanya Best Bets
Light Heavyweight championship – Israel Adesanya
Women’s Featherweight championship – Amanda Nunes
Bantamweight championship – Petr Yan
Lightweight – Islam Makhachev
Light Heavyweight – Aleksandar Rakic