Public Has Clear Play In Israel Adesanya-Alex Pereira UFC 281 Bout

Pereira has a historical edge over the middleweight champion

by

November 12

The UFC returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, and UFC 281 is set to be an explosive card.

The main card features a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. Former strawweight champion Zhang Weili will hope to reclaim her belt against current titleholder Carla Esparza. And in the main event, Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight title against former kickboxing champion Alex Pereira.

With the exception of Weili coming out victorious in less than 4.5 rounds, bettors on DraftKings Sportsbook don’t have a strong lean for the main three fights. But the public is confident in the result of the main event.

For the middleweight title bout, 87% of bets and 92% of the handle are on the fight ending in less than 4.5 rounds. Oddsmakers have this result at -105, which means a $100 bet would pay out $195.24.

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It’s an interesting route to take. Pereira has a 6-1 mixed martial arts record, and he is 3-0 in his UFC career, with only one fight going the distance at three rounds. Adesanya is on a dominant run as middleweight champion, not seen since Anderson Silva. The 33-year-old’s last four fights have gone all five rounds, including his lightweight bout against Jan Błachowicz, the only loss of his MMA career.

But UFC 281 is not the first time Adesanya and Pereira have fought. The two mixed it up in their kickboxing careers, where the latter has defeated the current middleweight champion twice in as many fights. Their most recent encounter, on March 4, 2017, ended in a knockout at Glory of Heroes 7.

Both fighters have grown since then, but perhaps Pereira has the champion’s number? For those confident the 35-year-old Brazilian can beat Adesanya and become the new UFC Middleweight Champion, the odds on Pereira winning via knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification in the second round are +1200. For the same result in the third round, the odds are +1600. This means a $100 bet on the former would pay out $1,300, and the same wager on the latter would pay out $1,700.

Whether or not Pereira can pull off the win over Adesanya will be determined in the octagon Saturday.

Thumbnail photo via Jessica Alcheh/USA TODAY Sports Images

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