Israel Adesanya makes his second middleweight title defense against fellow undefeated fighter Paulo Costa and BetRivers.com is the place to go for the latest UFC 253 odds, props and live betting. But the epic clash between a once-in-a-generation talent and an out-of-this-world physical specimen is just one of two title fights going down on Saturday, September 26. In the co-main event, top contenders Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz do battle to for the vacated light heavyweight championship.
UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa takes place at on UFC Fight Island, the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi. The preliminary card begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN +. The UFC 252 main card begins at 10:00 p.m. ET and airs on ESPN+ and PPV.
BetRivers.com Weekend UFC 253 Specials:
- Adesanya vs. Costa to go the distance (+215)
UFC 253 Odds: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
Israel Adesanya (19-0, -175 ML) makes his second UFC middleweight championship defense, welcoming fellow undefeated phenom Paulo Costa (13-0, +141) to The Octagon for a phenomenal five-round title fight.
Adesanya, a world-class kickboxer and martial artist, holds recent wins over former title challenger Yoel Romero, former top contender Kelvin Gastelum and former middleweight champions Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva. “The Last Stylebender” is one of the most challenging opponents in the sport, with a reach and range similar to Jon Jones and a striking style similar to the aforementioned Silva.
But Costa is arguably Adesanya’s stiffest test to date and will present the champ with physical capabilities not possessed by any of his prior opponents. Costa is a physically imposing middleweight who hasn’t had the weight-cutting issues several larger middleweights have dealt with. Four of Costa’s five UFC fights have come via TKO win, with his lone decision win inside The Octagon being his most recent, a unanimous decision over fellow athletic freak Yoel Romero.
This fight comes down whether or not Costa can land power punches on the evasive Adesanya and whether or not Costa can go a full 25 minutes. As the fight goes on, the chance of an Adesanya decision goes way up, as do the chances of a Costa finish. Three of Costa’s four UFC finishes have happened after the end of the first round.
Costa wants to swing hard and finish fast. Adesanya wants to batter his opponent, breaking their will with a wide variety of strikes over the course of 25 minutes. One of these two scenarios is likely to take place. I lean on the latter more than the former, even though Costa has legitimate power and while Adesanya has excellent defensive boxing, he is not unhittable and has been knocked down, and even knocked out before (albeit in a sanctioned kickboxing match).
- Adesanya vs. Costa to go the distance: Yes (+215), No (-305)
- Adesanya vs. Costa O/U 2.5 Rounds: Over (-134), Under (+100)
- Adesanya win by finish: Yes (+120), No (-167)
- Costa to win by finish: Yes (+188), No (-275)
- Adesanya to win by decision: Yes (+300), No (-480)
- Costa to win by decision: Yes (+750), No (-2500)
Keep yourself updated with the latest UFC odds.
UFC 253 Odds: Reyes vs. Blachowicz
The co-main event pits Dominick Reyes (12-1, -286) vs. Jan Blachowicz (26-8, +230) for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship following Jon Jones’ permanent jump the heavyweight division.
Reyes’ only loss came at the hands of Jones, via unanimous decision in February 2020. Many made the case that Reyes had earned the victory over Jones, having won at least two rounds against the greatest mixed martial artist on the planet. Reyes had earned victories in all six of his Octagon appearances prior to his showdown with Jones, all six as the betting favorite.
Reyes enters the UFC 253 co-main event as the favorite due to his cardio, excellent frame and reach, and dynamic striking. But the 37-year-old Blachowicz has won seven of his last eight fights, with recent stoppage victories over Corey Anderson and former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. Make no mistake, Blachowicz has the punching power and the grappling to secure a victory and the light heavyweight belt. But Reyes gets the edge in nearly all the head-to-head categories, with the exception of punching power and grappling experience. Those are two very important skills to have the edge in.
If Reyes and Blachowicz fight ten times, I believe Reyes wins six times — three via decision -, with Blachowicz winning four times, two via finish.
I lean Reyes here because of the size, reach and striking volume, but this fight is not as much of a foregone conclusion as the odds would suggest. The Reyes ML would need to come down a bit more for me to find value there because of Blachowicz’s punching power, even though there’s a clear reason he’s the favorite.
UFC 253 Odds: Dawodu vs. Tukhugov
I love ML dogs, probably a bit too much. So when I saw Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1 +101) at plus money after opening -112, my eyes lit up. Dawodu is explosive, exciting, and very dangerous, having earned seven of 11 victories via stoppage. His opponent, Zubaira Tukhugov (19-4-1, -125), is the same age and the same height but has more 11 more professional fights and five-inch reach advantage, both important measurables to have in his corner. Tukhugov is good, but I think Dawodu can be great.
There are two scenarios I see taking place: The first: a frenetic, wild slugfest with plenty of grappling that either goes the distance or ends with late TKO outta nowhere. The second is a truncated version of the first, with a TKO taking place within the first four minutes of the fight.
UFC 253 Odds: Matthews vs. Sanchez
There was a time when Diego Sanchez (30-12, +445) was one of the very best fighters on the planet and that time seems like decades ago, and his unique behavior now seems unsettling. His last outing was a disqualification victory over Michael Pereira due to an illegal knee — a bout in which Sanchez appeared to be in a different state of mind. Although Sanchez has gone off the deep end and is clearly a shell of himself, this fight is a question of how good Jake Matthews (16-4, -670) is.
. I think Matthews should be able to starch this version of Sanchez, but I also know that Matthews has never been able to earn the stepping stone victory. Three of his four UFC losses have come following a two-fight win streak. The losses come when the competition improves. Sanchez represents a step up in competition, and a massive underdog Moneyline too good to pass up.
UFC 253 Odds: Main Card (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
- Israel Adesanya (19-0, -162) vs. Paulo Henrique Costa (13-0, +135)
- Dominick Reyes (12-1, -250) vs. Jan Blachowicz (26-8, +200)
- Kai Kara-France (21-8, -230) vs. Brandon Royval (11-4, +179)
- Ketlen Vieira (10-1, -167 vs. Sijara Eubanks (6-4, +134)
- Zubaira Tukhugov (19-4-1, -125) vs. Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1, +101)
UFC 253 Odds: Prelims (8 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)
- Jake Matthews (16-4, -670) vs. Diego Sanchez (30-12, +445)
- Shane Young (13-4, -129) vs. Ludovit Stein (16-2, +104)
- Brad Riddell (8-1, -335) vs. Alex da Silva Coelho (21-2, +250)
- Aleksa Camur (6-0, -177) vs. William Knight (8-1, +141)
UFC 253 Odds: Early Prelims (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN+)
- Khadis Ibragimov (8-3, -177) vs. Danilo Marques (9-2, +144)
- Juan Espino Dieppa (9-1, -295) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-3, +226)
(All odds as of Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. ET)