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Top Picks for UFC 259: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya

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Top Picks for UFC 259: Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya
Jan Blachowicz of Poland. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

This Saturday — March 6th — we have been graciously gifted not one, not two, but THREE title fights. All three of these fights are very important — at least in my opinion — and there’s also a lot of value if you look deep into what’s in store. Check out who I’m riding with for this weekend’s “Title Extravaganza”.

Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling

UFC Bantamweight TItle Bout

Saturday, March 06, 2021 – 10:05 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Petr Yan

Petr “No Mercy” Yan is a professional Russian mixed martial artist that is currently the UFC Bantamweight Champion. He is also ranked #10 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound division, and is a former Absolute Championship Berkut Bantamweight Champion. Yan started fighting at a very young age and was even fighting in the streets and in his school at the time. His older brother was a boxer, so Yan wanting to be like his brother, picked up the sport in boxing and ended up training for 8 years while achieving the rank of Master of Sport in Boxing.

Yan then signed his UFC contract in 2018 and made his debut against Teruto Ishihara -- at UFC Fight Night 132 -- and won via TKO in the first round. All of his MMA accomplishments consist of: Absolute Championship Berkut Grand-Prix Winner, one-time ACB Bantamweight Champion, Performance of the Night vs. Urijah Faber, Fight of the Night vs Jin Soo Son, and currently, the UFC Bantamweight Champion.

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling is an American mixed martial artist currently ranked #1 in the UFC Bantamweight division. He was once a bantamweight champion in the Cage Fury Fighting Championships where he defended his title three times. Sterling began wrestling in high school in 2004, and continued his passion at Morrisville State College. There he met Jon Jones and developed a passion for MMA. So, Sterling transferred to Cortland and became a two-time NCAA Division III All-American. In 2014, Sterling had his UFC debut at UFC 170 vs. Cody Gibson where he won via unanimous decision.

Prediction

Petr Yan (15-1-0) is an outstanding striker that also has his strengths in Muay Thai. He is sharp with his speed and movement, and you rarely see him with his guard low. The Russian’s last and only loss was in 2016 vs. Magomed Magomedov -- at ACB 32: Battle of Lions -- where he lost via split decision. Of his 15 wins, 7 have been by T/KO, 7 by decision, and 1 by submission. That alone shows he definitely has knockout power in his fists and has a chin that can’t be dropped. In terms of his significant strikes, he averaged 4.82 strikes per minute while absorbing only 1.95 -- so you also know his defense is on point.

Aljamain Sterling (19-3-0) is a decent striker but an even better grappler. Of his record, he has 2 wins by T/KO, 8 by submission, and 9 by decision. Of his 3 losses, he has lost once by T/KO and 2 times by decision. His last loss was in 2017 vs Marlon Moraes - at UFC Fight Night 123 - via KO in the first round.

I believe we will see Sterling trying to bring the fight to the canvas and get a submission on Yan. However, Yan is quick and strong enough to defend against his takedowns. Sterling tends to leave his guard open, unlike Yan, so that is where he will most likely end up getting caught. The UFC odds are currently: Petr Yan -119 and Aljamain Sterling -101 via BetOnline. I’ve been watching this line since the odds came out and they have been fluctuating between the two. But for me, I’m backing the power in the Russian.

UFC Pick: Petr Yan -119 via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Petr Yan-119
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Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson

UFC Women’s Featherweight Bout - Co-Main

Saturday, March 06, 2021 - 10:05 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Amanda Nunes

Amanda “Lioness” Nunes is a Brazilian mixed martial artist that is currently the reigning champ in the bantamweight and featherweight division. She is the first female fighter to hold two UFC divisional championships, and is also the third fighter in UFC history to contain titles in two different weight classes at the same time -- the other two fighters being Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier.

Prior to the UFC, she competed in Strikeforce and Invicta FC where she was highly successful. She then made her UFC debut in 2013 at UFC 163 vs. Sheila Gaff where she won via TKO in the first round. Nunes has many, many accomplishments - and when I say many it’s not five or eight -- she holds 34 accomplishments/awards in her entire professional career!

Megan Anderson

Megan Anderson is an Australian mixed martial artist who is a former Invicta FC Featherweight Champion. Interestingly, she served two and a half years in the Australian Army, but was discharged due to personal reasons. Once she returned to her homeland, she began her journey in boxing which then introduced her to the mixed martial arts world in 2013.

Anderson was supposed to make her UFC debut in 2017 at UFC 214 against Cris Cyborg, but opted out due to personal reasons. She was then scheduled to fight Holly Holm in 2018 at UFC 225, and lost via unanimous decision. She has many accomplishments in MMA: she has won Performance of the Night vs. Norma Dumont Viana, she holds the most fights in the UFC Women’s Featherweight division, she holds the most stoppage victories in the UFC Women’s Featherweight division, and she is also tied with Cris Cyborg for most knockouts in the UFC Women’s Featherweight division.

Prediction

For me and most likely 99% of the UFC bettors out there will be on Amanda Nunes (20-4-0). Out of her 20 professional wins, 13 have been by T/KO and 3 by submission. In terms of her losses, she has lost twice by T/KO, once by submission, and once by decision -- her last loss being in 2014 vs. Cat Zingano -- at UFC 178 -- via TKO in the third round. Of her last 5 fights, she has won three times via T/KO and twice via decision.

Megan Anderson (11-4-0) does have a slight height advantage at 6’0’’. She has never been knocked out in her career but has lost twice by submission and twice by decision. Of her 11 wins, she holds 6 by T/KO, 3 by submission, and 2 by decision. Her last loss was somewhat recently in 2019 against Felicia Spencer where she lost via submission -- rear-naked choke to be exact -- in the first round.

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One thing to keep in mind, both of these ladies fought Holly Holm -- Nunes defeated her in 2019 via TKO in the first round, and Anderson lost to Holm in 2018 via unanimous decision. Anderson tends to get tired easily which will lead to her keeping her hands low and not utilizing her footwork.

Anderson has never been knocked out in her professional career, yet Nunes holds the power to give her her first T/KO loss. She is an extremely aggressive fighter that always closes the distance. Amanda Nunes is the overall more efficient, and powerful fighter in this matchup. So, let’s expect Nunes to defend her title once again.

UFC Pick: Amanda Nunes by KO/TKO or DQ +105 via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Nunes by KO/TKO or DQ+105
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Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya

UFC Light Heavyweight - Main Event

Saturday, March 06, 2021 - 10:05 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Jan Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz is a Polish professional mixed martial artist that is currently the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and is also currently ranked #14 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. He has been fighting professionally since 2007, and eventually made his UFC debut in 2014. In his debut, he faced Illir Latifi -- at UFC Fight Night 53 -- and won via TKO in the first round. Blachowicz is another fighter with many, many professional accomplishments, whether it's in the UFC, Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki, Muay Thai, or Grappling.

Israel Adesanya

Israel “the Last Stylebender” Adesanya is a Nigerian professional mixed martial artist fighting out of New Zealand. He has specialized in boxing and kickboxing while holding an undefeated professional record. He is currently the UFC Middleweight Champion and is also ranked #3 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. He is also a former Glory Middleweight Championship title challenger. Adesanya holds a lot of accomplishments as well; he has successfully defended his UFC Middleweight Title twice, he is the Australian Fighting Championship Middleweight Champion, and many, many more.

Prediction

Jan Blachowicz (27-8-0) is a well-rounded fighter containing 17 stoppages in his professional career -- 8 via T/KO and 9 via submission. Of his 8 losses he has been knocked out twice and submitted once. His last loss was in 2019 vs. Thiago Santos -- at UFC Fight Night 145 -- where he lost via TKO in the third round. Blachowicz averaged 3.49 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.74. He always aims to throw heavy hitters, whether they are punches or kicks -- his combinations of both tend to get the job done.

Israel Adesanya (20-0-0) is also a very well-rounded fighter. He is quick on his feet and stays moving. I doubt this fight will make it to the ground, especially since Adesanya has a total of 0 takedowns in the UFC. He holds 15 wins by T/KO and 5 by decision on his professional record, with wins against Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, and more. Just like Blachowicz, Adesanya utilizes his combinations with punches and kicks.

However, what stands out to me the most is Israel Adesanya moving up a weight class. He still has an advantage in terms of his height and reach, however, he has not faced an opponent with heavyweight power. I don’t see Adesanya getting knocked out due to his movement and speed, and also proving his chin throughout his professional career. Again, I doubt this fight will make it on the ground, so expect a striking match between the two Light Heavyweights.

UFC Pick: Jan Blachowicz +200 via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Jan Blachowicz+200
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