Jan Blachowicz v Israel Adesanya Odds - UFC 259

Jan Blachowicz v Israel Adesanya Odds - UFC 259
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UFC 259 Odds

There are three belts on the line when UFC 259 comes to Las Vegas on March 6th.

Headlining the card is an intriguing matchup between new Light Heavyweight champion Jan Błachowicz, and Middleweight king Israel Adesanya. The former will be looking to defend his belt for the very first time, but is facing one of the most difficult challenges in the organisation, in the shape of the 3rd ranked pound-for-pound fighter.

We've previewed the upcoming bout and had a look into the early outright odds.

Israel Adesanya Moving Up

The argument could be made that Israel Adesanya is currently the most dominant champion on the UFC roster. His resume boasts wins over some of the most prestigious names in the sport - Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero to name a few, all of whom have fallen short to the Last Stylebender in the space of under two years.

Paulo Costa was his latest victim, with Adesanya making light work of the Brazilian. To quote the man himself, it was a butchering. The second round KO came after some initial vicious leg work, with the kickboxer keeping range and controlling the distance/tempo from the off. It really was a clinic, before he showcased his 'skinny boy' power, with a swift left hook.

The win took Adesanya to 20-0 in his professional career, and 3-0 since getting his hands on the interim Middleweight belt. He has not only unified his championship, but put himself in the conversation to be the greatest to ever hold the crown in his division.

With little left to play for at 185, Adesanya has opted to move up a weight class, with his sights set on becoming the fifth fighter in UFC history to become a 'champ champ'. March 6th will mark his debut at 205, making it an intriguing proposition when he steps inside the Octagon.

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Jan Błachowicz's surprise rise to gold

Just under four years ago, Jan Błachowicz lost a majority decision to Patrick Cummins, leaving him with a record of 1-4 from his last five fights. The Pole's future in the organisation looked to be in jeapodry, before he turned it all around.

Fast forward to present day, and the 30-year-old has flown through the rankings, quite literally smashing his way through opponents. The 37-year-old had won six of his last seven fights, justifying his shot at gold at UFC 253 last September. Hot-shot Dominick Reyes stood in his way, with many predicting the American to prevail on the night.

Błachowicz, however, defied the odds and ended the fight with an explosive finish. He damaged his opponent's rib-cage early on, and his forward pressure resulted in a second round TKO victory. Living up to his nickname of the 'Polish Power', Błachowicz delivered a sharp left hook which put Reyes down, and as seen through his finishes over Luke Rockhold and Corey Anderson, he does not need much back-lift to put your lights out.

In the words of Jon Anik, Poland's guy got it done. Błachowicz's rise to the top has been a real success story in the UFC, somewhat following the narrative of 'rags to riches'.

Matchup and fight breakdown

Those that are fans of stand-up, will be fans of this bout. The only way this fight is going to the canvas, is if one man goes crashing down from a KO.

Both men's success in the UFC have stemmed from their striking ability, albeit through contrasting styles. Adesanya is regarded as one of the most calculated striker's in the organisation's history, keeping his opponents at bay and piecing them up gradually. His kickboxing stance helps him maintain and manage distance, throwing those quick, sharp calf kicks.

It's a new weight-class for the Last Stylebender, but his gameplan will remain the same. He'll work the outside angle and look to pick Błachowicz apart - a basic concept to try and adopt, but his incredible skill-set has made him an impossible puzzle to solve so far in his UFC career. Adesanya's pragmatic approach should not disguise his ability to close the show either - he finished both Whittaker and Costa, one from a counter and the other from working an exchange on the inside.

Błachowicz's approach will centre around trying to gradually close that gap - he likes to move around the cage but also step forward, looking to throw those powerful hooks from a side stance. He was patient in his last bout with Reyes, inviting the latter to come forward, to then counter and swiftly go forward himself. It's a tough ask though to try and draw Adesanya into the middle of the cage, but the Pole's best hopes look to lie with a quick flurry of punches.

The Last Stylebender's defence is almost unparalleled, and he will no doubt be wary of the power that Błachowicz possesses. It's an intriguing match-up on paper, and one we can't to see unfold, when the Octagon door closes shut.

The Odds

With 20 wins and zero losses to his name, it won't come as a surprise to see Adesanya open up as the outright favourite for this bout at 4/11.

He has been favoured in each of his last four fights for the title, which is purely a testament to his diverse range of skills inside the cage. From his polished striking to his takedown defence, Adesanya is such an accomplished fighter, to the point where no match-up on paper poses an obvious issue for himself.

Whilst that '0' is in tact, it's unlikely that we'll ever see the New Zealander ever open up as an underdog.

The latter term, however, is a status that Błachowicz has lived with his entire career. Even with that belt around his waist, many are quickly overlooking the Pole in this fight. The bookmakers reflect this thinking, granting the defending champion a price of 2/1, outright. With regards to tools in the arsenal, there will be a wide regarded consensus that the 37-year-old can only win this fight through a knock-out.

As basic analysis as it sounds, it is simply a question as to wether he can pass through the guard and connect with Adesneya. Not to mention, with the latter moving up in weight, can he handle the power at hand? Such questions will be answered on March 6th.

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