Adesanya, Australasians Set to Dominate Per Odds
The UFC faithful have their eyes glued to this “rivalry” between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland. It all comes to a conclusion on UFC 293. But the Adesanya vs Strickland odds say otherwise: this is nowhere close to being competitive with the champion, Adesanya, favored widely at -650. And he’s not the only Aussie/Kiwi set to kick ass this Saturday given the UFC lines.
Location: Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, Australia
Streaming: Pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+
The Hate Between Adesanya and Strickland is Real
As far as beef goes, this is organic grass-fed that stems from their differences. Adesanya is a Nigerian-New Zealander who watches anime and streams on social media while Strickland is a white American who rides motorcycles and admitted to being a Neo-Nazi as a teen.
“I’ve got to knock him out, just so I can do a TikTok dance over his grave,” Adesanya reiterated during a press conference via The Mac Life.
“I’m going to break my nails on his face. For me, the guy is insecure. I’ve dealt with him behind the cameras, he’s very insecure, comes up with a lot of stuff, but that’s a ‘him’ problem not a ‘me’ problem. I know who I am, and I’ve done the work on myself. I don’t give a *bleep*.”
This comes from the pair’s run-in during the UFC 276 press conference last summer. Strickland got under Adesanya’s skin by referencing Alex Pereira’s knockout win. To that, Adesanya replied with the now-infamous “TikTok dance” jab.
Strickland has since won his last two fights. But the Adesanya vs Strickland odds don’t see him gaining much success. He is now at +425 after opening at +300. It would be the third time he’s the underdog in his last four fights and he’s gone 1-2 in these.
As for Adesanya, the two-time 185-pound champion is making his first title defense since recapturing the belt. Adesanya was touted as one of the UFC’s best bets hence his line stretched from its opener of -430 to where it is now.
Adesanya has never lost whenever he’s opened at -300 or shorter (3-0). But opening at -430, this is the shortest Adesanya’s ever been. And given most UFC fight predictions, he might just go beyond being -700, which would be his widest line in UFC history.
Which Aussie and Kiwi Fighters are Going to Prevail?
Adesanya is most likely going to annihilate Strickland given their discrepancy in striking. But before he does, as many as eight local fighters are set to do battle. Of these eight, five are listed as favorites per the UFC 293: Adesanya vs Strickland odds.
Carlos Ulberg, a teammate of Adesanya, is lined at -260 along with Jamie Mullarkey. They are the next largest favorites, next to the champion, as they take on Da Un Jung and John Makdessi, respectively. Ulberg has won four straight fights, three by KO. Mullarkey is coming off a loss but is taking on a fighter who has just one win since 2019.
Other favorites include Justin Tafa and Jack Jenkins at -200 each and Shane Young at -170. Tafa, a heavyweight, could starch Austen Lane as he’s done in all three of his UFC wins. Jenkins has won nine straight fights and is 2-0 in the UFC while his opponent, Chepe Mariscal, is 1-0 in the promotion.
In the co-main event, Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa is a +200 underdog as he takes on Alexander Volkov (-250). Tuivasa joins “Blood Diamond” (+255) as dogs coming from the region.
Tuivasa is a staple among the recent list of UFC events. But he has been knocked out twice straight while Blood Diamond is 0-2 in the UFC. Both face “must-win” fights going against Volkov, a top-five heavyweight, and Charlie Radtke, a grappler who can exploit Blood Diamond’s weakness.
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