Betting Guide for UFC 253
The UFC heads back to Fight Island with a bang this week. This card is headlined by a middleweight title fight between two undefeated fighters with a combined 32 professional MMA wins.
And if that isn't enough for anyone, the light heavyweight title is on the line as well for the first time since Jon Jones announced his move to heavyweight. With that belt currently vacant, it's guaranteed that there will be at least one new champion crowned on Saturday, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.
Let's take a look at the best bets to make.
Israel Adesanya (-184) vs. Paulo Costa (+148)
The champion Israel Adesanya, currently standing at 19-0, puts his 185-pound belt on the line against the 13-0 challenger Paulo Costa.
Adesanya will enter the ring with a three-inch height and massive eight-inch read advantage. He has exhibited an uncanny ability to not get hit through his UFC run, absorbing an average of only 2.40 significant strikes per minute while carrying a very high 65% striking defense rate. That will be put to the test by Costa's heavy volume of 8.43 significant strikes per minute, and his uncanny ability to find a knockout -- 11 of his 13 wins have come via KO/TKO.
Adesanya is a fairly sizable favorite at the moment, leaving the betting value on the side of Costa. Adesanya has also fought to a decision in five of his eight UFC appearances. With the over/under in this five round fight set at 2.5 rounds and priced at -134, the over looks like the best bet on this fight.
Dominick Reyes (-290) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+225)
It's easy to see how Dominick Reyes is favored in this fight after taking Jones to a decision in February -- a fight which many analysts believe Reyes actually won. He fights with a striking-heavy approach, landing an average of 4.88 significant strikes per minute, compared to just 0.24 takedowns landed per 15 minutes.
On the other side is Blachowicz, currently riding a three-fight win streak. He is a more balanced fighter, averaging 3.45 significant strikes landed per minute, with 1.16 takedowns per 15 minutes. It is important to note that two of his past three wins came against fighters moving up from middleweight. And it is also important to note that he has only been finished once in the UFC.
Reyes opened his UFC career with three straight first-round victories but has fought to a decision in three of his past four fights, including that five-rounder with Jones. His only non-decision victory during that span came by first round KO over Chris Weidman, who was moving up from middleweight for the first and only time in his UFC career. Instead of taking Reyes straight up, he can be bet to win by points at a much better price of +270.
Ketlen Vieira (-184) vs. Sijara Eubanks (-148)
After starting her UFC career with four straight wins, Ketlen Vieira is now looking to rebound from her first loss to Irene Aldana. She is a well-rounded fighter with fairly low output on the feet, averaging 2.74 significant strikes landed per minute and 2.03 takedowns landed per 15 minutes. Three of her four UFC wins have come via decision, with the fourth coming by submission in the last minute of the second round against Sara McMann.
Sijara Eubanks is the more active fighter on the feet, landing an average of 4.71 significant strikes per minute, to go along with an average of 2.17 takedowns landed per 15 minutes. She came into the UFC as a flyweight, but weight-cutting struggles led her to the bantamweight division, where she has gone just 2-2, with all four fights going the distance.
Vieira's 92% takedown defense rate provides Eubanks with a tough test if she wants to utilize her takedowns, and she has already beaten the tougher competition in the UFC. This fight is very likely to go the distance as the -280 line suggests. Instead of taking Vieira's money line, she can be bet at +105 to win by points.