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UFC 243: Whittaker vs Adesanya Odds and Pick

In what could be the largest-attended UFC event in the company’s history, UFC 243 goes Saturday from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The middleweight title will be on the line as Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker makes his second title defense, while undefeated Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya looks to exchange his interim title for the real strap. This fight has pick 'em odds at -115.

Matchup Information
  • UFC 243: Whittaker vs Adesanya
  • Date/Time: October 5, 10 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: PPV
  • Opening Odds: Whittaker -135/Adesanya +118

Odds Analysis

The public has been all over Adesanya since the opening, moving this line from +118 to him now being the slight favorite at -120. Meanwhile, the fairly inactive champion Whittaker is getting slighted, in my opinion, and now is an underdog. This may be because The Reaper has fought just twice since July 2017, while the Last Stylebender has been in the Octagon six times since his debut in February of last year.

Despite being in the public eye and carrying a perfect 17-0 record, this is the tightest line Adesanya has had in the UFC since his fight with Brad Tavares in July 2018 – a fight Adesanya won by unanimous decision. On the other side, if Whittaker closes as an underdog, it will be nothing new for the champion as he has been a dog in five of his nine middleweight bouts, all of which he won.

How Will This Fight Play Out?

Adesanya has a tremendous ability to set traps for his opponents and throw powerful straight punches when they fall into those traps. The Nigeria native does a great job of switching stances and varying his attack from punches to knees and kicks to keep his opponents off-balance. His takedown defense was put to the test against Kelvin Gastelum his last time out and he did fairly well, only getting taken down once and maintaining a nice high guard that kept him out of danger.

The champion has a higher output of strikes compared to the challenger, but in doing so, he tends to absorb more damage as well. That being said, Whittaker has shown tremendous resiliency, having suffered a fairly significant knee injury in the first Yoel Romero fight and breaking his hand in the rematch, but he continued to battle and won both bouts. “Bobby Knuckles” constantly pressures his opponents and mixes up his strikes, sneaking head kicks behind quick straight punches.

Watching both of their last fights again, I noticed some big issues for Adesanya that Whittaker could take advantage of. When Adesanya fought Gastelum, he failed to check any leg kicks and a couple got through and hurt him. As well, when he was in exchanges, he didn’t bring his left hand high to protect that side of his face, but he was fortunate that Gastelum threw loopy punches. I think Whittaker will see these things and put Adesanya in a bad way.

Prediction: Robert Whittaker (-110) via decision

Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Robert Whittaker-115
Israel Adesanya-115

Odds as of October 4 at Bovada