Best Bets UFC 271

Best Bets UFC 271 – Adesanya Leads A Trio Of UFC Betting Picks

With UFC 271 approaching, we’ve compiled a list of UFC 271 best bets, headlined by middleweight king Israel Adesanya’s victory over former champion Robert Whittaker.

For the first time since August 2021, the UFC returns to the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, with Houston native Derrick Lewis on the main card, just as he was that night. Lewis fights Tui Tuivasa, a fellow heavyweight, while middleweights Derek Brunson and Jai Cannonier square off for a title opportunity. In an Australia/New Zealand fight, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his championship against the man he dethroned, Robert Whittaker.

Israel Adesanya (-290) vs. Robert Whittaker (+230) – Middleweight Championship Bout

Adesanya (21-1) is a Nigerian-born fighter who grew up in New Zealand and now fights out of Auckland. Whittaker (23-5) is an Australian boxer who was born in Auckland but now fights out of Sydney. This combat was scheduled to take place in Australia like the previous, but owing to COVID-19, they’ll have to stay in the US this time. 

Whittaker came out strong in the first bout but was felled by Adesanya after the first round. As he continued to catch Whittaker, Adesanya’s counterattack made all the difference, and he halted the fight at 3:33 of the second round. Whittaker has since bounced back from that setback with three straight unanimous-decision victories, and his standup has been fantastic. He does not, however, want to stand alongside Adesanya, who in the octagon gives off Anderson Silva vibes.

Whittaker may attempt to take this battle to the mat, where Jan Blachowicz suffocated Adesanya on his way to his first professional loss. Blachowicz, on the other hand, was the light-heavyweight champion at the time, and he was significantly bigger than Adesanya on fight night. Whittaker will not have that luxury, as Adesanya has proven to be a difficult opponent for middleweights. Whittaker is a fantastic fighter, arguably the greatest at 185 pounds in the UFC. I simply do not believe he is superior to Adesanya, who is favored by these UFC betting odds.

UFC 271 Best Bets – Israel Adesanya (-280)

Derrick Lewis (-186) vs. Tai Tuivasa (+151) – Heavyweight

Lewis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but relocated to Houston when he was 13 years old, where he has been ever since. Tuivasa was born and reared in Sydney, Australia, and is credited with popularizing the “shoey,” a victory celebration in which Tuivasa drinks beer from a shoe tossed to him by the audience. 

Tuivasa had lost three straight fights before winning four in a row, all by TKO/KO, with three of them coming in the opening round. Even his KO of Augusto Sakai in the second round at UFC 269 in December was only 26 seconds long. The “Will The Fight Go The Distance” UFC betting prop for this fight has odds of -550. There’s no way this is going to last three rounds.

Lewis has improved his skills over time and is a skilled boxer who moves in and out of the pocket, as we mentioned in our UFC 271 odds preview. Tuivasa is a versatile striker with a kickboxing background, which he will undoubtedly employ in his pursuit of Lewis’ legs. Obviously, Lewis will have the fans behind him, but Tuivasa will chip away at Lewis’ lead until securing a stoppage win for a sports betting “upset.”

UFC 271 Best Bets – Tai Tuivasa (+151)

Jared Cannonier (-170) vs. Derek Brunson (+140) – Middleweight

Cannonier (14-5) may be the most powerful striker in the middleweight division, having found a home for his strength at 185 pounds after beginning his UFC career as a heavyweight. Brunson (23-7) is riding a five-fight winning streak to a title opportunity, and he is now ranked fourth in the UFC, one spot behind Cannonier. 

Whittaker is the top contender, and Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. So, unless there is a third fight between the two, the victor of Cannonier-Brunson will face whoever is champion after Adesanya-Whittaker 2. By the way, Adesanya knocked out Brunson at UFC 230 in November 2018, two years after Whittaker had done the same to Brunson, and Whittaker defended Cannonier at UFC 254 in October 2020.

Brunson should avoid standing and trading with Cannonier; he’s a good attacker, but Cannonier may knock him out with a single shot. Brunson will win because of his strong wrestling, and Cannonier can be taken out. Brunson needs to smother Cannonier and possibly catch him with a late stoppage, but he’s a skilled fighter who provides a lot of value as an underdog in sports betting.

UFC 271 Best Bets – Derek Brunson (+135)

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