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UFC 253 Odds & Picks
This is the biggest middleweight championship fight in nearly a decade as the king, Israel Adesanya takes on fellow undefeated striker Paulo Costa. There is no shortage of bad blood between the two and combined with the small cage, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Co-headlining are Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz fighting for the vacant light heavyweight belt. Let’s break down the UFC 253 odds.
There are UFC 253 odds for the announced bouts as of the publishing date of this article. There are five bouts on the main card (four are official with one still in the works) and up to seven preliminary fights – four for the prelims on ESPN and three for ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass. Eight are official so far.
Let’s take a look at the main UFC 253 odds, including the main event for the UFC middleweight championship bout between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa (odds via Betonline):
|Fighter #1||Fighter #2|
UFC 253 Bouts
- Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) (19-0-0) vs Paulo Costa (13-0-0)
- Light Heavyweight Championship: Dominick Reyes (12-1-0) vs Jan Blachowicz (26-8-0)
- Flyweight: Kai Kara-France (21-8-0) vs Brandon Royval (11-4-0)
- Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1) vs Zubaira Tukhugov (11-4-0)
- Lightweight: Brad Riddell (8-1-0) vs Alex da Silva Coelho (21-2-0)
- Welterweight: Diego Sanchez (31-12-0) vs Jake Matthews (16-4-0)
- Featherweight: Shane Young (13-4-0) vs Nate Landwehr (14-3-0)
- Light Heavyweight: William Knight (8-1-0) vs Aleksa Camur (6-0-0)
UFC 253 Picks & Predictions
Our UFC 252 picks went 1 for 2 although one of our picks, Sean O’Malley, suffered an injury. A loss is a loss either way. This time around, we’re not sticking with favourites and we’re going to mix it up:
Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) (1.66) vs Paulo Costa (2.31)
This is every fight fan’s dream match-up: two spectacular strikers who have everything on the line including their undefeated records. Both Adesanya and Costa have been on a collision course since they started putting on winning streaks (they’re a combined 13-0 in the UFC).
Adesanya is coming off a tepid victory over Yoel Romero. The decision win somewhat diminished his superstar status following his impressive KO of Robert Whittaker. But bettors couldn’t have been more ecstatic as Adesanya fought smart and kept the dangerous Romero off of him.
Costa has been injured since beating Romero himself. That decision win was actually the first time he saw the judges’ scorecards in his professional career. The Brazilian bruiser may be dismissed as a slugger but he’s also a capable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist and fights with as much technique as power.
As much as fans would love to see a back-and-forth slobberknocker, it’ll be anything but.
Both Adesanya and Costa are technical strikers who enjoy throwing feints and switching things up, especially with the champ. Costa will aggressive and pursue Adesanya throughout the fight but he won’t risk getting decimated as Whittaker did.
Adesanya will give Costa different looks each time around. He’ll live up to his “Stylebender” monicker and pick Costa apart utilizing his massive 80″ reach. If Costa should get close in the smaller cage, Adesanya is highly durable and is strong despite his wiry build. He can lock Costa up in the clinch where he has an advantage.
Costa’s best shot is to catch Adesanya and knock him out. He hasn’t shown a suspect gas tank, but he has never gone past three rounds. A drawn-out battle favours the champion.
SBR’s pick — Adesanya (1.66). Smaller cage or not, Adesanya is the better striker than Costa. He can win the fight by out-pointing Costa or by knocking him out cold whether it’s through his fists or knees.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Dominick Reyes (1.43) vs Jan Blachowicz (2.95)
Reyes and Blachowicz will meet for a chance to capture the light heavyweight belt after then-champion Jon Jones once again screwed the pooch.
Reyes has been the division’s brightest up-and-comer since Jones and many felt he won the fight against him. Primarily a striker, Reyes is fast, fluid, and constantly improving. He’s a “young 30″ and the loss to Jones has only given him more motivation.
Blachowicz is 37 and has only started to become better in recent years. After losing four of his first six UFC fights, the former KSW champion has rattled off seven victories in eight fights including two knockouts in his last three fights.
Reyes is faster so he should get by Blachowicz. But Blachowicz may have the power and experience advantage and has come through as an underdog – five out of six times – often.
SBR’s pick — Blachowicz (2.95). Pick-wise, it’s Reyes. But bet wise, Blachowicz all the way. The Polish vet just keeps getting better and his hands are moneymakers. With a small cage, he’ll have more opportunities to counter and catch Reyes.
Flyweight: Kai Kara-France (1.45) vs Brandon Royval (2.85)
In this classic striker versus grappler match-up, odds are heavily in favour of Kara-France. This seems a bit off as Royval has a clear-cut path to a victory almost as much as France.
Kara-France is a customary flyweight at 5’4″. While he’s a prolific kickboxer, he’s also raw everywhere else. Royval on the other hand is almost purely a submissions expert. Though at 5’9″ with a 70.5″ reach, he’s more of a bantamweight.
Royval is coming off a submission victory over former title challenger Tim Elliott and he’s never been finished in his pro career. Kara-France will likely have to put on a three-round clinic to beat Royval. With the small cage and significant size advantage, Royval is a lively underdog who is being criminally overlooked.
SBR’s pick — Royval (2.85). There is a good chance Kara-France starches Royval for three rounds, but there is an equally good chance Royval grapples him and submits him. At these odds, our money is on Royval.
Armed with these picks, you can feel confident heading to UFC 253. Check out the top online sportsbooks and use our picks (or bet against them). Remember to avail of the many signup bonuses:
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