One of the UFC’s best on-paper rematches in quite some time headlines UFC 271 on Saturday, when middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his title for the fourth time against the man he took it from three years ago in Robert Whittaker.
The main event of the card at Toyota Center in Houston features a pair of “Down Under” stars, as Adesanya (21-1) is a New Zealand resident by way of Nigeria, while Whittaker (24-5) was born in New Zealand and is now based in Sydney.
Israel Adesanya strong betting favorite to beat Robert Whittaker at UFC 271
They first met at UFC 243 in Melbourne, where Adesanya defeated Whittaker via second-round knockout in a shockingly one-sided fight in October 2019.
That marked Whittaker’s only loss in his past 13 fights dating to 2014. He then went out and did precisely what he needed to in order to earn a rematch after such a lopsided setback, as he scored three straight wins over top-10 fighters Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum.
Adesanya has fought four times since defeating Whittaker. He lost via decision when he went up in weight and challenged then-UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. But he remains unblemished at 185 pounds, using his next-level striking and underrated endurance to successfully defend his belt three times.
Adesanya is currently a -280 favorite to win on Draftkings, with the former champion a +225 underdog.
Tai Tuivasa is a solid underdog option against Derrick Lewis on Saturday
The evening’s co-feature matchup promises fireworks.
Hometown favorite Derrick Lewis takes on fellow knockout artist Tai Tuivasa in a heavyweight showdown that shouldn’t last long either way. Lewis (26-8) has won five of his past six. Last time out, his first-round finish of Chris Daukaus marked the 13th knockout of his UFC career, which set a record for in the company regardless of weight class.
Affable Aussie Tuivasa (14-3), meanwhile, has won four in a row. All via knockout, with three of those coming in the opening round and the other in the opening minute of the second round. Six of his seven UFC wins are via KO or TKO.
“The Black Beast” is a -170 favorite with the Aussie currently a +150 underdog.
You can find the full fight card betting odds below.
UFC 271 kicks off at 6 pm ET with the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+. The core prelims follow at 8 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+, then comes the $74.99 main card pay-per-view at 10 pm ET exclusively on the ESPN streaming service.
UFC 271 betting odds
–Field Level Media