UFC tips: Our best bets for Adesanya v Blachowicz and UFC 259 undercard this weekend

UFC action returns on Saturday night and Simon Head has his latest picks.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

After a run of events without a title fight, the UFC are totally spoiling us this weekend, with THREE title bouts at the top of the fight card at UFC 259 in Las Vegas.

All three fights have very different dynamics, and there’s value to he had in each of them. So here’s a trio of title fight bets to consider ahead of fight night this weekend…

3:30AM: ALJAMAIN STERLING V PETR YAN

PICK: PETR YAN TO WIN BY KO/TKO

American contender Aljamain Sterling has had to bide his time and be patient while he waited for a title shot. But now he’s got it, he finds himself having to run the gauntlet against one of the newest, most ferocious champions on the roster.

Russia’s Petr Yan has been perfect inside the octagon since his arrival on the big stage, with his irresistible combination of relentless pressure, rapid-fire power-punches and scrambling ability on the mat making him virtually impossible to defeat. Indeed, his only loss came via split decision after a very controversial point deduction in Russian promotion ACB.

Against Sterling, Yan will face a tricky submission specialist with an unorthodox striking style, but Yan’s pressure and punch power should be enough to stop Sterling in his tracks. He may need to be a little wary early on, but Yan has the scrambling skills to avoid the worst of the trouble on the mat, and the striking skills to put Sterling away.

4:30AM: AMANDA NUNES V MEGAN ANDERSON

PICK: AMANDA NUNES TO WIN BY KO/TKO, ROUND 1

Two-division women’s champion Amanda Nunes is a JW biggest favourite on the card, and a virtually unbackable at 1/12 to defeat Australian challenger Megan Anderson I Saturday night’s co-main event. But there’s still value out there for fans of “The Lioness.”

Nunes has blasted her way through the opposition, and backing her to repeat the feat against a very upright, come-forward striker like Anderson looks like a solid route to profit this weekend.

If you want to play it safe, the 10/11 on a Nunes win by KO/TKO represents solid value given her huge favourite status, but for those looking for more value may opt for the more daring pick and take Nunes to win by KO/TKO in the first round. That’s a 3/1 shot and, if Nunes can finish fellow strikers Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm inside a round, as she did in 2018 and 2019 respectively, she can certainly do the same to Anderson on Saturday.

5AM: ISRAEL ADESANYA V JAN BLACHOWICZ

PICK: ISRAEL ADESANYA TO WIN BY POINTS

In the night’s main event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is stepping up to challenge Polish powerhouse Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title. It’s a chance to join an exclusive group of fighters who have held two UFC title simultaneously, but winning won’t come as easily as he’s found it as a middleweight.

Blachowicz is ludicrously durable, hits like a sledgehammer and has a rarely-seen, but dangerous submission game. But while he poses plenty of potential problems, Adesanya has the key advantages here – speed and accuracy.

Adesanya may not be able to knock out the big Pole, but he certainly has the speed, the footwork and the variety of shots to pick him apart over the course of five, 5-minute rounds.

UFC 259 VALUE PICKS:

Aljamain Sterling v Petr Yan: Yan to win by KO/TKO
Amanda Nunes v Megan Anderson: Nunes to win by KO/TKO in Round 1
Israel Adesanya v Jan Blachowicz: Adesanya to win by points

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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