UFC 271 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jared Vanderaa Prediction
Preliminary Card Headliner - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:40 p.m. EST.
- Andrei Arlovski has won 4 of his last 5 fights, and all of which were against a similar, or better level of opposition than Jared Vanderaa.
It's hard to feel great about taking a big stand on a 43-year-old fighter, but as per usual, Andrei Arlovski is being straight up disrespected by the betting market.
Arlovski is a veteran of the game. Once a man who looked to stand and swing with his opponents until someone fell, and now a legend who lulls them into a slow-paced striking affair, one which he is able to win on volume, based on precision striking and defense.
Jared Vanderaa is a brawler who likes to push forward and throw wild punches at a high pace. It can prove effective against a certain level of opposition, but at the UFC level, and especially against someone of Arlovski's caliber, he just doesn't cut the mustard technically.
Vanderaa has durability, heart, and cardio, but I don't see him looking to rush in and crash the pocket working against Arlovski's calculated style, and a couple of stiff jabs to the face will likely coax him into a steady distance striking match, sooner rather than later. Once there, Arlovski should be able to do the business.
Both of Vanderaa's UFC losses have come against grapplers, and although I would be shocked to see Arlovski turn into a wrestler, that could offer some added upside for him, should he look to engage in the clinch or grappling realm here.
I'm taking Andrei Arlovski's moneyline for 5 units. He's not exactly a fighter you love to have serious investment in given his age, but he's shown he can take damage against non-power punchers (like Vanderaa), and I favor him heavily to win minutes and secure a decision victory, if not the finish.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jared Vanderaa Pick
- Bet of the Card: (5u) Andrei Arlovski Moneyline @ -140 (to Return 8.571 Units)
Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 Prediction
Main Event – UFC Middleweight (185lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 12:30 a.m. EST.
- Robert Whittaker has won 5 of his last 6 fights, with all his wins coming via decision.
After seeing how Whittaker vs. Adesanya’s first fight played out, it’s hard to reflect upon the (roughly) -110 pick’em odds between the two and make a reasonable case that it was a good line in retrospect. Whittaker fought a bad gameplan, perhaps let the moment get to him a little bit, and it led to him getting picked apart and put away decisively. This time around, we’re seeing a major discrepancy in the odds from their initial bout, with Adesanya sitting at around -300 and Whittaker as the over 2-to-1 ‘dog (that’s an implied probability shift from 52.4% to 75% for Adesanya). Now, if Whittaker comes in with a terrible gameplan again, or showing a ton of self-doubt, then sure, this is going to look accurate, but if not, then I’m not sure we’re going to see Adesanya look like good value for his steep price tag.
Whittaker may be outmatched with the technical striking, but he throws at a higher volume, and that could prove helpful in terms of minute-winning. His wrestling is his x factor, it can win him this fight decisively, if he’s able to get it going and works it in effectively. We saw that Jan Blachowicz was able to take Adesanya down and neutralize him, and although Blachowicz had a more notable size advantage, I see no reason as to why Whittaker couldn’t have a similar level of success as well.
I see Robert Whittaker as a more polished version of Marvin Vettori, he’s got the crisper, faster, and more varied strikes, and he’s able to switch to grappling more seamlessly too. Vettori does have an absurd level of durability over Whittaker, but other than that, Whittaker is just the more complete fighter, and with the right gameplan this time around, I think he’s going to make this one competitive, thus making him a value play at his current moneyline.
I’m going to need Whittaker to fight savvy and remain safe early, but I expect him to do that and takeover as the fight goes on. The KO will be live for both men throughout, but should Whittaker be able to stay out of trouble, I see him pulling this one out the bag, and scoring the decision victory.
Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 Picks
- (1u) Robert Whittaker Moneyline @ +240 (to Return 3.4 Units)
- (1u) Robert Whittaker via Decision @ +530 (to Return 6.3 Units)
Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson Prediction
Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson
Main Card - Middleweight (185lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 11:15 p.m. EST.
· Derek Brunson is on a 5-fight win streak, with 3 of his wins coming by way of decision.
My final bet is a small sprinkle on Derek Brunson to win via decision.
I think the moneyline is almost lined accurately, with Cannonier being the slight favorite, but I feel as though this prop is a bit out of whack given that I see a strong majority of Brunson’s wins coming by way of decision (around 70% by my estimations), meaning that we’re getting some value here.
Jared Cannonier is dangerous, and he will have the edge on the feet, but Brunson unquestionably has the better wrestling, and he’s been making it the focal point of his game on his current rise to contention. Many will recall Cannonier’s sublime takedown defense in his last outing against Kelvin Gastelum, and credit where it’s due to him, but I’m going to need to see him replicate it here against a fighter who packs more of a knockout threat standing and a stronger, larger frame to facilitate his grappling. Afterall, Cannonier had a lot of trouble with his defensive wrestling at light heavyweight, and although we’ve seen him advance many levels in all aspects of his game since then, this will still arguably be the biggest wrestling challenge of his career.
Cannonier is exceptionally tough, especially at middleweight, and he has sneaky good submission defense, and for that reason, a finish from Brunson would be somewhat surprising to me. So, all in all, Brunson should be able to be semi-competitive standing, and if he’s able to engage in the clinch and grappling, he has the keys to ride this one out to a decision victory, and that’s reason enough for me to make a small play on this prop at a generous number.
Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson Pick
- (0.5u) Derek Brunson via Decision @ +320 (to Return 1.6 Units)
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 / #UFC271
Location & Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, United States
Date: Saturday, February 12th, 2022
Start Time: Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, Prelims: 8 p.m. EST. Early Prelims: 6 p.m. EST.
Where To Watch: Main Card on PPV, Prelim Card on ESPN/ESPN+, Early Prelim Card: ESPN+
UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 Main Event Prediction
Middleweight (185lbs): Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker – Whittaker via Decision
UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 Main Card Predictions
Heavyweight (265lbs): Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa – Lewis via KO/TKO
Middleweight (185lbs): Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson – Brunson via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Kyler Phillips vs. Marcelo Rojo – Phillips via Submission
Lightweight (155lbs): Bobby Green vs. Nasrat Haqparast – Haqparast via Decision
UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 Prelim Card Predictions
Heavyweight (265lbs): Andrei Arlovski vs. Jared Vanderaa – Arlovski via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Roxanne Modafferi vs. Casey O'Neill – O’Neill via Decision
Flyweight (125lbs): Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell – Perez via KO/TKO
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): William Knight vs. Maxim Grishin – Grishin via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Ronnie Lawrence vs. Mana Martinez – Lawrence via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Renato Moicano vs. Alexander Hernandez – Moicano via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Carlos Ulberg vs. Fabio Cherant – Ulberg via KO/TKO
Middleweight (185lbs): Jacob Malkoun vs. AJ Dobson – Malkoun via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): D. Silva de Andrade vs. Sergey Morozov – Morozov via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Jeremiah Wells vs. Mike Mathetha – Wells via Submission
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.