Champion Israel Adesanya and #2 Paulo Costa fight as the main event at middleweight for UFC 253 this Saturday at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and on pay-per-view.
Israel Adesanya: $8,500
Paulo Costa: $7,700
This fight is the main event, but I’d be shocking to see it go more than three rounds. Adesanya is the undefeated champion entering the bout and has the edge on the moneyline as well at -175.
Costa has the edge in fantasy points per fight at 104.7 across his five graded bouts, with Adesanya at 92.2 in his eight UFC contests. But context matters, as Adesanya has had to defend his championship his last three bouts, while Costa has just one top-five victory.
The 19-0 Adesanya has gone the distance in two of them; however, before these championship fights, Adesanya had let a fight go the distance just once in his previous five UFC fights. But given the two fighters style, this isn’t going to go the distance.
Costa throws over 8.4 significant strikes per minutes, so his aggression will present a high risk. Adesanya is aggressive himself, connecting on 48 percent of 3.96 per minutes. In what may be one of the best fights of the year, expect an all-out brawl with one of the two likely to get a clear edge early on.
Here are the odds and bet splits for Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 253:
Israel Adesanya: -186 (66% of action, 58% of bets)
Paulo Costa: +151 (34% of action, 42% of bets)
Enjoy the main event as a fan, and if you’re looking for a fighter, Adesanya still feels like the safe bet even at $8,500. He’s talented, can take blows and won’t allow Costa’s uber-aggressive style to throw him off his game.
It’s still a risk, but it’s one of the better ones on this card.
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