Champion Favored Over Arch-enemy
It is the highly anticipated trilogy fight between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and former two-division GLORY kickboxing world champion Alex Pereira. The UFC betting odds favor Adesanya even if Pereira holds two wins over him – one via a vicious knockout. A lot has changed for both men since they last met five years ago.
Why is Pereira the Underdog?
The most noticeable thing on the online gambling lines is Pereira’s: He’s an underdog. Despite beating Adesanya twice, Pereira is expected to lose on Saturday. This is a mixed martial arts competition, after all, and not a kickboxing fight. Pereira is green on the mat and his only loss in MMA came via a rear-naked choke.
However, Adesanya is not a striker and has not made any attempts to take a fight to the ground. While Adesanya has more MMA experience, it seems unlikely he tries to out-wrestle his adversary. And should Adesanya try, Pereira has been training with the likes of former champion Glover Teixeira.
Additionally, Teixeira has helped Pereira become more disciplined. Here is a former alcoholic who turned to martial arts to overcome it. Now, it’s scary to imply that a man that holds one of the most devastating fists is better than he was five years ago. For this alone, he’s worth betting on online.
Adesanya Will Do Anything to Win
We never underestimate the man who bears the gold. Adesanya has overcome every challenge he’s faced. In fact, almost every opponent he’s turned back is primarily a striker, namely Paulo Costa and Jared Cannonier. Robert Whittaker tried to out-wrestle him, but he became a champion by utilizing his kickboxing.
Against Pereira, Adesanya will need to overcome two major hurdles. The first is the mental aspect of fighting the man who’s not only beaten him, but hurt him. Adesanya should be ready for the barrage of questions reminding him of this fact. And, secondly, the height and reach of Pereira.
To this point, Adesanya has had the reach advantage over his opponents. Even when he fought Jan Blachowicz at 205 pounds, he had a two-inch reach advantage. Pereira has the same height and reach as Adesanya. But as the more experienced UFC veteran, Adesanya may just be a tad wilier than his archrival.
Adesanya vs Pereira Head-to-Head
As mentioned, Adesanya and Pereira have similar height and reach. Adesanya can switch stances, though, while Pereira is primarily an orthodox striker. Striking accuracy favors Pereira at 60 percent. Adesanya is at 49 percent. Their defense is virtually identical at 58 and 59 percent, respectively.
Adesanya vs Pereira Fight Information
- Fighters: Israel Adesanya (c) (23-1-0) vs Alex Pereira (6-1-0)
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
- Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 12, 10 p.m. ET
- Adesanya vs Pereira Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Adesanya vs Pereira Betting Lines
Adesanya vs Pereira Prediction
Bettors are taking the dog shot on Pereira, hence why his line has dropped to where it’s at. We can’t fault them as Pereira has beaten Adesanya at his own game. Pereira should also not be fazed by the bright lights of the main event, as he’s a former champion in GLORY and made his debut in Madison Square Garden.
Adesanya can look to grind out Pereira in the early rounds. Should Adesanya find ways to tie up Pereira or even use wrestling to make him expend energy, the threat of Pereira’s fight-ending left hook goes down. Over the course of five rounds, the champ will outlast his foil and avenge his past two losses. Find a prop for him to win by a decision for the best UFC bet.
Israel Adesanya is listed at -200 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on him, you have a chance to win $50. Alex Pereira is +160, offering a chance to win $160 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Adesanya a 66.67% chance to win, with Pereira at 38.46%.