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UFC 253 Odds & Expert Picks

The middleweight title will be up for grabs in the main event of UFC 253 as undefeated champion Israel Adesanya looks to make his second title defense against undefeated challenger Paulo Costa. Adesanya is the slight favorite (-190) in the UFC 253 betting odds with Costa (+155) coming back as the underdog.

This event marks the return of the UFC to Yas Island, aka Fight Island, in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, and will take place on Saturday, September 26. We have a full preview and all of the UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa betting odds.

After “The Last Stylebender” grabbed the belt in dramatic fashion by knocking out Robert Whittaker in the second round, his first defense was a chess match with the boogeyman of the division, Yoel Romero. Adesanya will look for more fireworks in this bout.

Also coming off a win over Romero is “Borrachinha,” who went the distance with the former Olympian, scoring a close, albeit unanimous-decision victory in what was the first bout of his 13-fight pro career to reach the judges’ scorecards. This will be the first time in over a year that we have seen Costa, who has been dealing with a bicep injury.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released the UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa betting odds and has listed the champ, Adesanya, as the -190 betting favorite with the challenger, Costa, returning as a +155 underdog.

This means you would have to wager $190 to profit $100 if the champ retains his belt, while a $100 bet on the challenger would profit you $155. You can find out all of your potential winnings with Odds Shark’s betting calculator.

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UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Betting Odds

  • Middleweight Championship – Israel Adesanya (-190) vs Paulo Costa (+155)
  • Light Heavyweight Championship – Dominick Reyes (-270) vs Jan Blachowicz (+210)
  • Flyweight – Kai Kara-France (-225) vs Brandon Royval (+175)
  • Women’s Bantamweight – Ketlen Vieira (-190) vs Sijara Eubanks (+155)
  • Featherweight – Hakeem Dawodu (+115) vs Zubaira Tukhugov (-145)
  • Prelims
  • Lightweight – Brad Riddell (-335) vs Alex Da Silva (+255)
  • Welterweight – Diego Sanchez (+525) vs Jake Matthews (-850)
  • Featherweight – Shane Young (EVEN) vs Ludovit Klein (-130)
  • Light Heavyweight – William Knight (+130) vs Aleksa Camur (-160)
  • Heavyweight – Juan Espino (-305) vs Jeff Hughes (+235)
  • Light Heavyweight - Khadis Ibragimov (-185) vs Danilo Marques (+150)

New to betting on the fights? Check out our UFC betting guide to get you in the action. Also, keep an eye on our UFC odds page for the latest up-to-date UFC 253 betting odds.

UFC 253 Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: September 26, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Yas Island (Fight Island), Abu Dhabi
  • Arena: UFC Fight Island Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+, PPV

UFC 253 Odds: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa

FighterOdds
Israel Adesanya-190
Paulo Costa+155

After climbing to the top of the kickboxing world, Adesanya (-190) wanted a new challenge and switched to MMA, where he has climbed to the top of that world as the UFC middleweight champion. Meanwhile, Costa (+155) wants to fulfill his dream of being a UFC champion and hopes that his heavy hands will carry him to victory once again.


Adesanya: Need to Knows
  • Adesanya has a perfect 19-0 record with 14 wins coming by knockout and five by decision. Each of those decision victories have come in the UFC.
  • With The Last Stylebender’s kickboxing background, it’s no surprise that he prefers to keep the fight standing. He hasn’t landed a takedown in the UFC but stuffs 86 percent of takedown attempts.
  • He is a long middleweight at six-foot-four with an 80-inch reach and incredible knowledge of his range. He has outstanding footwork and head movement mixed with pinpoint accuracy, a combination that has helped him outstrike all eight of his UFC opponents.
  • Adesanya has a bit of an Anderson Silva-like approach to his fights, constantly feinting and studying his opponents’ reactions before going on the attack. Typically, he’s a counter-striker, which can get him in trouble if he’s rushed with a flurry of punches.
  • Adesanya’s last three fights were Kelvin Gastelum (win – unanimous decision), Robert Whittaker (win – knockout) and Yoel Romero (win – knockout).


Costa: Need to Knows
  • His rise through the UFC has been meteoric, with Costa now fighting for the title after just five fights in the Octagon. However, over those five fights, he has four knockout victories and a triumph over a three-time title challenger in Romero – though Romero missed weight once.
  • The knockouts aren’t exclusive to the Octagon for Borrachinha. He ended all eight of his fights prior to getting into the UFC with first-round knockouts.
  • Costa will be at a size disadvantage as far as height and reach go, standing six-foot-one with a 72-inch reach. But what he may lack in length, he makes up for in width as this man is chiseled out of granite.
  • Like Adesanya, he has outstruck each of his five UFC opponents and averages a ridiculous 8.43 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.84. He wants to keep this fight standing; he has no takedowns and has stuffed 80 percent of his opponents’ attempts.
  • He is a pressure fighter with power in both hands but when he throws first, he’s a little wild and predictable. He’s most dangerous in a flurry. His pace slows dramatically after the first round, though that first round is a wild one.
  • Costa’s last three fights were Johny Hendricks (win – knockout), Uriah Hall (win – knockout) and Yoel Romero (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Israel Adesanya (-190) via knockout

UFC 253 Odds: Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz

FighterOdds
Dominick Reyes-270
Jan Blachowicz+210

For the first time since 2011, there will be a light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier. Jones relinquished his belt and has moved to the heavyweight division. Vying for the vacant title are Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes (-270), coming off a close unanimous-decision loss to Jones in February, and Jan Blachowicz (+210), who was next in line for Jones after his first-round knockout of Corey Anderson, also in February.


Reyes: Need to Knows
  • Heading into the Jones fight, Reyes held a perfect 12-0 record with seven wins by knockout, two submissions and three decision victories.
  • The Devastator primarily likes to keep his fights standing, having landed just one takedown over his seven UFC bouts and stuffing 82 percent of his opponents’ attempts. That said, he has been taken down at least once in each of his last four fights.
  • Reyes has really good kicks at range and when his opponents look to close the distance, he greets them with his powerful left hand. He is most dangerous in kicking range because he uses his kicks to set up his left hand, though at times he telegraphs that punch.
  • He has a tendency to throw one punch at a time and to fight off his back foot, which is a bad look for judges. Essentially, he only attacks when he’s trapped against the cage and his conditioning was an issue against Volkan Oezdemir and Jones.
  • Reyes’ last three fights were Volkan Oezdemir (win – split decision), Chris Weidman (win – knockout) and Jon Jones (loss – unanimous decision).


Blachowicz: Need to Knows
  • While Reyes climbed through the light heavyweight rankings fairly quickly, Blachowicz had his struggles early in his UFC career, losing four of his first six fights by decision. But he has won seven of his last eight since then.
  • Blachowicz has a more well-rounded skill set, averaging 1.16 takedowns per 15 minutes (though he hasn’t landed a takedown over his last four fights) and outstriking 10 of his 14 UFC opponents.
  • He has a good quick jab; however, he tends to leave it long, which leaves him vulnerable to a counter left. Additionally, he sometimes has a hard time closing distance, throwing kicks from afar before he rushes in with a couple of punches, and can be caught in his entry.
  • Overall, he loads up a little bit too much on his right hand, looking for his opponent to make a mistake and enter his range without throwing a punch first so he can shut their lights out.
  • Blachowicz’s last three fights were Luke Rockhold (win – knockout), Jacare Souza (win – split decision) and Corey Anderson (win – knockout).

Prediction: Jan Blachowicz (+210) via knockout

See UFC 253 Betting Odds

UFC 253 Odds: Kai Kara-France vs Brandon Royval

FighterOdds
Kai Kara-France-225
Brandon Royval+175

After having his eight-fight winning streak snapped in mid-December, Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara-France (-225) was able to return to the win column in February with a victory over Tyson Nam. As for Brandon “Raw Dawg” Royval (+175), he had a successful Octagon debut in May, scoring a submission win over Tim Elliott, and carries a three-fight winning streak into this fight.


Kara-France: Need to Knows
  • “Don’t Blink” has been a decision machine in the UFC with all five of his fights going the distance, so in fact you can blink several times during his bouts. Of his 21 pro fights, he actually has an equal number of wins by knockout and decision (nine each).
  • He has a long reach for the flyweight division at 69 inches and he’s very active, averaging 5.27 significant strikes per minute, though he only lands 38 percent of his strikes. Kara-France has really good footwork, which has led to his opponents missing 68 percent of their strikes.
  • He throws a ton of jabs looking to set up his powerful right but many of the jabs fall short of the target. When he’s pressured, he tends to drop his hands and try to circle out of danger instead of firing back.
  • Kara-France’s last three fights were Mark De La Rosa (win – unanimous decision), Brandon Moreno (loss – unanimous decision) and Tyson Nam (win – unanimous decision).


Royval: Need to Knows
  • As mentioned off the top, Royval is on a three-fight winning streak, with all three wins coming by submission. In fact, 10 of his 11 pro wins have been finishes, seven of them submissions.
  • The former LFA champion also has a good reach at 68 inches and he fights long with kicks and jabs. He keeps his hands low in a karate-style stance to further his jab but also to tempt his opponent into rushing him so he can dip and go for a takedown.
  • Not keeping his hands high leads to him getting hit quite a bit but he’s never been knocked out so he’s willing to take a shot if he can get close enough for a takedown. On the floor, he is always threatening submissions in a variety of different ways.
  • Royval’s last three fights were Joby Sanchez (win – submission), Nate Williams (win – submission) and Tim Elliott (win – submission).

Prediction: Brandon Royval (+175) via decision

UFC 253 Odds: Ketlen Vieira vs Sijara Eubanks

FighterOdds
Ketlen Vieira-190
Sijara Eubanks+155

The last time we saw Ketlen “Fenomeno” Vieira (-190) in December, she appeared to be one win away from a title fight with a 10-0 record, but a first-round knockout loss to Irene Aldana halted that momentum. Vieira’s opponent was supposed to be Marion Reneau but she was injured just ahead of the card and Sijara “Sarj” Eubanks (+155) has stepped up on late notice after collecting her second straight win just two weeks ago.


Vieira: Need to Knows
  • Vieira was 6-0 prior to entering the UFC with five of those wins being finishes (three by submission, two by knockout). However, since joining the promotion, three of her four wins have been decisions.
  • Despite being best known for her grappling and submission skills, her striking skills are nothing to be scoffed at. Though she has been outstruck in four of her five UFC bouts, she stalks her opponent with great footwork and she has good counters.
  • Striking isn’t the path to victory for Vieira – it is getting the fight to the floor and working toward a submission. She averages 2.03 takedowns per 15 minutes and four of her 10 pro wins have been submissions.
  • Vieira’s last three wins were Sara McMann (win – submission), Cat Zingano (win – split decision) and Irene Aldana (loss – knockout).


Eubanks: Need to Knows
  • The deafening silence of no crowd must be working wonders for Eubanks, who is 2-0 at the UFC Apex Performance Center during the pandemic, which is a great bounce-back from going 0-2 in 2019.
  • Sarj looked great in her decision win over Julia Avila as a +235 underdog. Overall, she’s had good performances in the UFC with a 4-2 record and her two losses were close unanimous decisions. Eubanks has outstruck all six of her opponents in the Octagon.
  • She has always been an uptempo fighter, averaging 4.71 significant strikes per minute and defensively making her opponents miss 60 percent of their strikes. She also chips in 2.17 takedowns per 15 minutes. At times when she’s rushed on the feet, she forgets to throw back and can be swarmed.
  • Eubanks’ last three fights were Bethe Correia (loss – unanimous decision), Sarah Moras (win – unanimous decision) and Julia Avila (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Ketlen Vieira (-190) via decision

UFC 253 Odds: Hakeem Dawodu vs Zubaira Tukhugov

FighterOdds
Hakeem Dawodu+115
Zubaira Tukhugov-145

*Tukhugov missed weight for this bout, tipping the scales at 150 pounds for a 145-pound bout*

After suffering the only loss on his record in his UFC debut, Hakeem “Mean” Dawodu (+115) has rattled off four wins in a row and is slowly building his name in the featherweight division. Meanwhile, Zubaira “Warrior” Tukhugov (-145) started his UFC career off well with three wins in a row but is 1-1-1 over his last three.


Dawodu: Need to Knows
  • Don’t look for a Dawodu fight to hit the floor as he hasn’t landed a single takedown in the UFC and has stuffed 85 percent of his opponents’ attempts.
  • On the feet, Mean is aggressive, averaging 5.28 significant strikes per minute, and he has outstruck all five of his UFC counterparts. He throws really good kicks from low to high, which opens up areas to throw his hands.
  • Dawodu’s last three fights were Kyle Bochniak (win – split decision), Yoshinori Horie (win – knockout) and Julio Arce (win – split decision).


Tukhugov: Need to Knows
  • While Dawodu likes to keep the fight standing, Tukhugov likes to take fights to the floor, averaging 2.88 takedowns per 15 minutes and landing at least one takedown in four of his six UFC fights.
  • On the feet, Warrior tends to be very hesitant, maintaining distance before storming in with quick hands or a takedown attempt. Although he has great grappling skills, he only has one submission victory to his name, but seven knockout wins.
  • Tukhugov’s last three fights were Renato Moicano (loss – split decision), Lerone Murphy (split draw) and Kevin Aguilar (win – knockout).

Prediction: Zubaira Tukhugov (-145) via decision

UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Predictions And Odds:

FighterOdds
Middleweight - Israel Adesanya-185
Light Heavyweight - Jan Blachowicz+225
Flyweight - Brandon Royval+190
Women’s Bantamweight - Ketlen Vieira-200
Featherweight - Zubaira Tukhugov-145