The eyes of the MMA world will be on Miami, Florida this Saturday as UFC 287 plays host to a much-anticipated rematch between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.
UFC 287 Betting Tips
- Israel Adesanya to win on points – 15/8
- Gilbert Burns to win on points – 13/8
- Adrian Yanez to win by TKO/KO/DQ – 7/4
- Kevin Holland to win on points – 2/1
- Raul Rosas Jr. to win on points – 21/10
The two fighters first faced off in the octagon back in November of last year, in what was one of the most dramatic fights of 2022.
In that contest ‘Poatan’ secured a fifth-round TKO over Adesanya to capture the middleweight title and add further fuel to the fire, in what has become one of the biggest rivalries in combat sports, thanks to their storied history in kickboxing.
There’s also a return to competition for Jorge Masvidal in the co-main, as he takes on Gilbert Burns in a matchup that could have significant ramifications on the welterweight division.
Let’s get straight into our picks for the main card…
Israel Adesanya to win on points – 15/8
When studying the history of these two fighters on a surface level, it may seem difficult to pick Adesanya in this one.
The New Zealander is 0-3 against the Brazilian across two disciplines, losing to a decision and KO in kickboxing before they met again in the UFC.
With that said, looking back at November’s fight, ‘Izzy’ had Pereira on wobbly legs towards the end of the first round, with only the horn saving him.
Going into the fifth, the live odds had Adesanya as an overwhelming favourite but then of course, we had what will go down as a classic UFC moment.
This time out, we could see the challenger reclaiming his belt, by mixing in some wrestling between stand up exchanges, as he did on occasion in the first fight, to frustrate and tire the champion on the way to decision victory.
But make no mistake, this is extremely tight and you would have to be bordering on insane to not give Pereira a good chance of repeating last time’s outcome. If you fancy that, Pereira by KO/TKO/DQ is 2/1
Gilbert Burns to win on points – 13/8
The prevailing wisdom in this matchup seems to be that Burns’, while being heavy favourite, has a chin that is somewhat shaky and Masvidal can secure a KO/TKO victory.
And while we don’t necessarily disagree that Masvidal is a very live dog here, we can’t help but look back at the Brazilians fight with Khamzat Chimaev, where he took the best shots Khamzat had to offer and continued to come forward.
At the end of the day, Masvidal is on a three-fight losing streak, and while he does have some highlight reel knockouts, he’s never been known to have earth shattering power.
We think Burns repeatedly ties Masvidal up in the clinch and takes him down to secure a decision victory.
Adrian Yanez to win by TKO/KO/DQ – 7/4
Number 12 ranked bantamweight Adrian Yanez, will look to force himself into the top 10 as he takes on number 6 ranked Rob Font.
Both of these fighters are known for having powerful strikes, but we feel Yanez has more to his game on the feet.
Add to the fact that Rob Font is on a two-fight losing streak, in contrast to that of Yanez who’s built some momentum over the past couple of years, we think Yanez gets him out of there within the distance.
Kevin Holland to win on points – 2/1
Both Kevin Holland and Santiago Ponzinibbio come in to this one off the back of a mixed bag of results.
Last time out for Holland ended in him having to retire in the corner due to a hand injury against Stephen Thompson, in what was otherwise a fight of the year contender.
While for Ponzinibbio, he came back from a two-fight loss streak by KO’ing Alex Morono back in December.
This one should be an entertaining scrap, between two fighters who usually put on a show.
Ultimately, we’re backing Holland for a decision victory.
Raul Rosas Jr. to win on points – 21/10
Two prospects open up the main card, as Raul Rosas Jr. takes on Christian Rodriguez.
Rosas Jr. made headlines when he signed a UFC contract at just 17 years of age. Now 18, he looks to secure his second win in the octagon, after submitting Jay Perrin in his debut at the back end of last year.
Rodriguez himself is only one fight deep in the organisation, where he also showed submission skills, by finishing Joshua Weems with an anaconda choke.
We’re taking Rosas Jr. to take the next step on his potentially meteoric rise and win by decision.