UFC 281: Champion Favored with Adesanya vs Pereira Betting Odds

UFC 281 Main Event at MSG

Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira headlines UFC 281 and Adesanya vs Pereira betting odds have framed a tight market.

New Zealand’s Adesanya is the -180 favorite to improve his record to 24-1. He’s unbeaten in the division but there is support gathering for Pereira, who is just 6-1.

Adesanya vs Pereira

Date, time (TV):
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Pereira Making Strides

Getting a UFC title shot at just your fourth UFC fight is unheard of. That’s the level Dana White thinks Pereira is on, so the hype is real.

The 35-year-old Brazilian made a late start to his MMA career, but he’s young enough to be crowned champion and still have a lasting impact in the division. However, he’s facing one of the all-time greats and that’s reflected in Adesanya vs Pereira betting odds.

Adesanya has never lost in the middleweight division and he hasn’t even been tested much. Many believe Pereira is the man to end the title reign of the Nigerian Kiwi, but we don’t know if a knockout win over Sean Strickland is the best form guide.

Pereira hasn’t had a tough UFC schedule and Strickland is arguably past his best. However, as Adesanya vs Pereira betting odds suggest, he should be given a chance in the five-round affair.

He believes Adesanya doesn’t want this fight.

“If he really wanted this, he would have done that as soon as I signed with the UFC,” Pereira said. “He’s being forced to fight, he’s the champion. It’s obvious that he cares about the belt.

“He knows I’m not like the other guys he fought, otherwise the results would have been different in both times we fought. He knows I’m different, and I’m proving that. I’m showing that in my three UFC fights. I’m being honest here. He doesn’t want this fight.”

It’s not up to Adesanya how soon Pereira gets a title shot, but it’s tough to knock Pereira’s confidence.

Class is with Champion

Adesanya has fought power punchers in the past and he has dealt with them easily.

The “Last Stylebender” defeated Jared Cannonier, Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Yoel Romero without breaking much of a sweat.

His fights might not be the most exciting, but he’s the smartest fighter in the UFC and he knows when to attack and when to defend. He doesn’t fly into contact with reckless abandon, which we think Pereira could do.

If Pereira doesn’t land an early knockout blow, he won’t win the fight; it’s that simple. There is no chance Pereira wins the fight on points, so he needs to look for a knockout, and putting away Adesanya hasn’t been done yet.

However, Pereira did knock him out when they were kickboxers, but a lot of water has gone under the bridge and his UFC 281 odds of -180 are excellent value.

“I’ve seen it (video of Pereira scoring a knockout), I don’t even know how many times,” Adesanya said. “I’ve never shied away from it. For years, it never really showed up on my radar, but then, once I started to get popping in the UFC, it started to pop up again because he was posting it.”

It was so long ago, we don’t think he cares and the UFC is a different sport. Adesanya vs Pereira betting odds have this market framed too closely, so take the champion to retain his belt.

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