Publish Date: February 8, 2022
Fact checked by: David Genge
This Saturday, February 12th, Israel Adesanya defends his Middleweight belt against Robert Whittaker for UFC 271 in a rematch from October 2019. This exciting card also features a heavyweight clash between the always dangerous Derrick Lewis and the up and coming Tai Tuivasa, as well as two more highly ranked middleweights Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson.
We’ll break down all three of these hotly anticipated matchups and share with you the best betting tips to make sure the fighters aren’t the only winners at the end of Saturday night. For all of the best odds on UFC fights be sure to use our live odds comparison tool!
Robert Whittaker was the champion of the middleweight division back in 2019 before Israel Adesanya knocked him out in the second round to take the title. The Last Stylebender has defended his belt three times since, and has stayed undefeated in that weight class throughout his entire career. His only loss came to Jan Blachowicz when he tried to make the jump up to lightweight and get the 105-pound title.
Adesanya has shown himself to perhaps be the best technical striker currently in the UFC. His illustrious kickboxing career shows through in his fighting style where he uses his long frame, quickness, and surprising power to overwhelm opponents.
Whittaker has recovered since his last loss vs. Adesanya, and has won three straight fights to become the number one ranked middleweight. In his most recent fight, the Reaper would outstrike Kelvin Gastelbum 150-62 and take him to the mat four times. Whittaker has technical kickboxing ability of his own, throws punches in bunches, and although it gets overlooked at times, is a great wrestler as well.
Still, the top bookmakers all have Adesanya as a heavy favorite for a reason. He currently gets -265 odds, while Whittaker sees +210. Adesanya was dominant in their first matchup and although Whittaker may have gotten better, the reach disparity hasn’t changed. There’s not much money to be made by picking Israel straight up, so pick him to win by KO/TKO at +175 or points at +175.
With UFC 271 taking place in Houston, Texas, it only makes sense to have Houston native Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis on the card. He’ll be taking on the up and coming Tai “Bam Bam” who’s won his last four fights in row.
Both of these heavyweights are fun to watch, and no doubt this will be a fight worth tuning in for. Lewis holds the record for most UFC knockouts all time with 13, while six of Tuivasa’s seven wins have come via KO.
Derrick Lewis is unsurprisingly the favorite to win and currently has -180 odds, while Tuivasa is given a solid chance by UFC bookmakers at +155. Both of these fighters have the type of power that could end a fight at any moment, and I like the streaking Tuivasa to win his biggest fight to date again by KO at +260.
Derek Brunson is ranked the #4 middleweight and Jared Gunner is ranked #3. Chances are we’re in for a great fight between these two as they each know the winner takes a large step towards fighting for a belt. Both of these men have amassed wins as of late with Cannonier going 4-1 over his last five, and Brunson a perfect 5-0 in his.
I’m taking Brunson here for the upset at +142. He has the height advantage and a slight reach advantage as well. Not to mention the southpaw striker is well rounded and has the cardio to stay active throughout a fight if it goes the distance.