UFC 271 Odds: We like the look of Bobby Knuckles in the main event
UFC271 takes places this weekend and we've asked our in-house Stocky Balboa Ste Mcquillan to preview it and pick out six tips for the big fights.
The highly anticipated rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker headlines UFC 271 this weekend and what a card we’ve got in store at the Toyota Centre in Houston. The main event is enough to attract any fan and even better, the co-main event promises to be just as exciting as we have two of the roster's most loved heavyweights, Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa slugging it out in their attempt at a run to the heavyweight title. And if that wasn’t enough we’ve also got Jarrod Cannonier back in action against the in-form Derek Brunson who is enjoying a five-fight win streak.
As always I’ll go through the three biggest fights on the card followed by a value pick for some of the other fights on the card. First up is the big one, the main event!
UFC 271 Tips
- Robert Whittaker to win - 2/1 @ Paddy Power
- Derrick Lewis to win in Round 1 - 8/5 @ Paddy Power
- Jarod Cannonier by KO/TKO - 6/5 @ Paddy Power
- O'Neill v Modafferi - Fight to go the Distance Yes - 8/13 @ Paddy Power
- Alex Hernandez to win - 11/8 @ Paddy Power
- Andrei Arlovski v Jared Vanderaa - Fight to go the Distance No - 5/4 @ Paddy Power
- All six selections - 146/1 @ Paddy Power
Robert Whittaker was often spoken about as the only man who can stop Israel Adesanya but "The Last Stylebender" actually made light work of the former champ and knocked him out in the second round. Whittaker has come out recently and said that he wasn’t good enough on the night and didn’t enjoy himself leading up to their first bout, but now, after some time, he’s back and says he has that hunger he used to have and is enjoying himself fighting again.
A motivated Bobby Knuckles is going to be a tough man to beat on the night but you’ve got to remember how good Adesanya is. The only loss the champ has is against Jan Blachowicz where he stepped up an entire weight division to fight the light-heavyweight champion, so really, he’s undefeated at his current weight class and has only ever really looked in danger once against Kelvin Gastelum.
The bookmakers currently have Adesanya as a big favourite for the fight at around 4/11 with Rob coming in as a 2/1 underdog. Whilst I do agree that Israel should be the favourite, I think the value bet is on Rob Whittaker. The way that the Australian has been fighting recently and how good he has looked, he’s definitely worth a punt. He said it himself, he’s now in the right headspace and he’s added so much more to his game since their first fight, he thinks he can take this one. If he’s enjoying his fighting and he’s on his game, this is much more of a 50/50 fight than the bookmakers suggest. In their first fight, the odds were 10/11 a piece so literally as 50/50 as you can get with bookmakers so it’s interesting to see Izzy as a 4/11 favourite this time.
It’ll be an interesting fight for sure but I do believe Whittaker when he says he wasn’t enjoying fighting at the time of their first fight, and you can see how good he has been in his recent fights, he’s looked solid on his feet with his boxing and kicks and even showed he can wrestle against Cannonier. I personally think the three-fight win streak Rob is currently on is going to give him enough to reclaim his title given the performances he has recently put in and the calibre of fighter he has beaten. I think 2/1 is a great bet for the Bobby Knuckles outright.
Now, this fight is going to be fun. Two of the biggest personalities in the UFC will face off against each other in this highly anticipated heavyweight bout. Both fighters always go out to get the knockout as fast as they can and to quote Lewis “Five rounds? F*** that.” So you can pretty much guess how this one is going to end. And if that quote isn’t enough for you, the bookmakers currently have it at 8/15 for there to be under 1.5 rounds, so yeah, this is going to end fairly quickly.
The Black Beast comes in as an 8/15 favourite for this fight and rightfully so in my opinion. I love Tuivasa but I think the difference in quality is going to show here. Derrick Lewis has the record for the most knockouts in UFC history and Tai Tuivasa is still only the ranked 11 heavyweight in the UFC. I think Lewis is underrated if anything and the experience should definitely shine through here, I can personally see a first-round finish for him. When it comes to Tuivasa whilst he is on an impressive run, he’s 7-3 in the UFC and had three losses in a row before his current four-fight win streak. His most impressive win was against Greg Hardy but even then it wasn’t overly convincing, as Tuivasa was hurt badly but Hardy got over excited and jumped straight into a Tuivasa hook. I think if Lewis lands, this one is over.
Both fighters are averaging below 1 takedown a fight and are also averaging over 2.5 significant strikes per minute, there’s no reason this fight should ever go to the ground and we can expect some big shots being thrown from both men from the get-go. There are no two ways about it, this fight is going to end fast, and I think with Lewis on paper being the big favourite, 8/5 for a first-round KO by Lewis is incredible value all things considered. The American won his last fight via first-round KO and has six first-round finishes in the UFC.
Next up is another fight in the middleweight division where ranked number three Jarod Cannonier fights the number four Derek Brunson in a fight which could decide Israel Adesanya’s next opponent if he defends his belt against Whittaker. The bookmakers have this pretty close with Cannonier as the 4/7 favourite and 5/4 for Brunson.
Derek Brunson has been on an impressive streak in the UFC winning his last five fights and has completely turned his career around recently. He lost four of his last six before this run that he’s on and in his current win streak, the wins have been in fairly impressive fashion. The only problem is, Brunson still has the tendency to get clipped in most of his fights and I think if that happens against a man that hits as hard as Cannonier, Derek is going to be in trouble. Cannonier himself has been on a decent run only losing one of his last five fights and that loss coming from none other than Robert Whittaker who is fighting for the title in the main event on this card.
Three of his last four wins have come by way of knockout and I think he’s a terrible matchup for Brunson who’s had 71% of his losses come by way of knockout. The hard hitting Cannonier will definitely be looking for the knockout this time around and with Brunson’s suspect chin, the 6/5 price for a Cannonier KO looks a very decent bet, especially when you consider he’s a 4/7 favourite to win the fight. I think the only way this goes the distance is if Brunson wrestles him out of the game, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think this should be a fairly simple fight for Cannonier who was once talked about as being a champion in this division, if he can get a win here, the title shot seems next up which should give him even more motivation for an emphatic victory here.
Just to juice up the 6/5 bet with a few stats, Jared Cannonier is currently landing 3.60 significant strikers per minute and Derek Brunson is currently absorbing 2.68 significant strikers per minute. Judging by those figures it’s clear that Brunson is going to get hit at some point like he did against Till and Holland, I just think the result will be different if he gets hit by someone as big as The Killa Gorilla.
The rest of the card in all honesty isn’t overly exciting but fear not there’s always value to be found! Okay, well, this not be the most appetising bet at 8/13 but it’s one that will be sure to boost up any acca you’re having. Roxanne Modafferi fights Casey O’Neill on this card and Roxanne is an incredibly durable fighter going to the judges scorecards 31 times in her mma career, it’s currently 8/13 for this fight to go the distance and I just think that’s an incredible bet. Casey is an undefeated fighter and a 2/7 favourite for this fight, but she’s up against a veteran that has only lost by stoppage four times in her 44 fight career, I just think this has to go to the judges scorecard, not much else to say here.
Alexander “The Great” Hernandez hasn’t really lived up to his name or his hype in recent years. He enjoyed a stunning start to life in the UFC with a huge one punch knock out against the new title contender Beniel Dariush. He comes in as an 11/8 underdog against Renarto Carneiro a Brazilian fighter who has lost three of his last five fights. I think it’s a decent bet considering the skillset Hernandez has and he’s also just coming off a KO win in his last fight. For what in my opinion is a 50/50 fight I think backing the 11/8 is a decent play.
It’s a shame there’s not as many big fights on this card but my last bet would be in Andrei Arlovski’s fight against Jared Vanderaa. Arlovski is a veteran of the UFC at 43 years old and is coming up as the 4/6 favourite against 29 year-old Jared Vanderaa. Two heavyweights scrapping it out and it’s 5/4 to not go the distance, yes please! Jared Vanderaa might even be worth a shout as the underdog but I think the best value is the fight to not go the distance. I don’t think the chin of Arlovski is going to hold up against a 29 year old who should have a decent amount of stamina behind him and he has a 58% KO ratio. And that’ll be the last bet of UFC 271!
All we can do now is hope for a good night of fights and hope for some winning picks.
You can load all six selections directly onto the betslip by clicking the link below.