- UFC returns to Fight Island for the next five weeks
- Two title fights are atop a very solid UFC 253 card
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC 253 main card, below
The Octagon is back in Fight Island for the next five weeks and the first event back is a very good UFC 253 Pay-per-view card that has two title fights on Saturday, September 26.
In the main event, Israel Adesanya looks for the second title defense of his middleweight belt against knockout artist, Paulo Costa in a battle of undefeated fighters.
The co-main event sees the vacant light heavyweight title on the line as Dominick Reyes battles Jan Blachowicz.
UFC 253 main card airs live on Pay-per-view at 10 pm ET. The table below shows odds for the main card at FanDuel and DraftKings, followed by best bets for the event.
UFC 253 Main Card Odds
|Fighter||Odds at FanDuel||Odds at DraftKings|
All odds taken Sept 21
Who’s 0 Will Go?
Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa is the fight I have been looking forward to the most this year. The two do not like each other and are fighting each other at the prime of their careers with both men also being undefeated which adds more hype to the fight.
Adesanya & Costa Recent Fights
|Yoel Romero, win by decision||Fight 1||Yoel Romero, win by decision|
|Robert Whittaker, win by KO||Fight 2||Uriah Hall, win by KO|
|Kelvin Gastelum, win by decision||Fight 3||Johny Hendricks, win by KO|
|Anderson Silva, win by decision||Fight 4||Oluwale Bamgbose, win by KO|
What makes this fight so interesting is the fact that Costa is a tough stylistic matchup for Adesanya, yet Adesanya is a tough stylistic matchup for Costa. The Brazilian in Costa only knows how to fight one way and that is to come forward and look to break down his opponents and eventually land the knockout punch. For Adesanya, he likes to have distance and piece up his opponents with his beautiful technical striking.
This fight really will go one of two ways and that is Costa landing the knockout punch in the first or second or Adesanya using his striking and footwork to piece up Costa to earn a late TKO win or a clear-cut decision. It is such a close fight, but the champ has fought tons of Costa’s before in kickboxing.
Expect the champ to use his footwork and reach to avoid the power punches of Costa and let the Brazilian tire himself out before he earns a fourth or fifth-round TKO win to defend his belt. This will also not be the last time the two of them meet as it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up having a trilogy.
Pick: Israel Adesanya (-175)
Adesanya vs Costa Stats
Who Claims the Vacant Light Heavyweight Belt?
For the first time since 2011, someone not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier will hold the UFC’s light heavyweight title as Dominick Reyes will battle Jan Blachowicz for the vacant strap after Jones vacated it in June.
Reyes & Blachowicz Recent Fights
|Jon Jones, loss by decision||Fight 1||Corey Anderson, win by KO|
|Chris Weidman, win by KO||Fight 2||Jacare Souza, win by split decision|
|Volkan Oezdemir, loss by split decision||Fight 3||Luke Rockhold, win by KO|
|Ovince Saint Preux, win by decision||Fight 4||Thiago Santos, loss by KO|
The odds make no sense in this fight, but it shouldn’t be a surprise given Jan Blachowicz is also overlooked by the sportsbooks and bettors. Ever since he lost back-to-back fights to Alexander Gustafsson and Patrick Cummins, he has been the betting underdog in seven of his past eight fights and has won six times as the underdog.
In the fight, Reyes will actually have to deal with having a shorter reach so can’t stick and move and land his jab without his opponent being able to hit him back. Early on, expect Reyes to be winning the fight using his footwork and jab, yet there are concerns about his cardio as he did tire out in the final three rounds against Jon Jones and gassed against Volkan Oezdemir. In just a couple months, it is likely he hasn’t fixed that problem and in the third or fourth round will try and close the distance and be hit by Blachowicz’s patented left hook that knocks him out.
The odds should be close to a pick’em and at +220, there is a ton of value on Jan Blachowicz.
Pick: Jan Blachowicz (+220)
Other UFC 253 Picks:
- Kai Kara-France (-225): Kara-France will be able to keep the fight standing and piece up Royval en route to a decision win.
- Sijara Eubanks (+152): Viera is someone the public loves to back, yet this is a terrible matchup for her as Eubanks is the better striker and her wrestling will be able to keep it standing to get a decision win.
- Zubaira Tukhugov (-112): This is such a good fight but expect Tukhugov to grind Dwadou out with clinch work and takedowns to get a decision win.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.