Everything is bigger in Texas, MMA fans, as UFC 271 is just a mere four days away. With the event on February 12th, sports bettors cannot wait to see the heavyweight battle between Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa. Furthermore, the other co-main is Israel Adesanya (the big favorite) taking on Robert Whitaker. In this article, we have top picks for UFC 271, which will be quite the night to take in and absorb. The action takes place from the exquisite Houston Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The co-main event features Israel Adesanya going up against Robert Whitaker. The Nigerian-born New Zealand MMA artist is the UFC Middleweight Champion and ranks third in pound-for-pound rankings in UFC. He comes in with a 21-1 record and 15 knockout. Adesanya is undefeated as a middleweight. His only loss came when he moved up to light heavyweight and fought Jan Blachowicz (loss by decision).
For Whitaker, the New Zealand born Aussie UFC fighter enters the bout with Adesanya on a three-match winning streak. As for his record, he is 23-5-0 in his career. On paper, these two are on the opposite sides of the spectrum. The last time we saw Whitaker get it on was April 17th 2021, as he won via decision against Kelvin Gastelum. This was his third straight fight that ended in a decision. He beat Jared Cannonier and Darren Till the same way. The odds are swept from the top-tier UFC betting sites and listed here:
|UFC 271 Odds -- Main Matches|
Now, he enters this meeting with a second chance at the Nigerian (The Last Stylebender). One has to admit few expected the former UFC Middleweight Champion in this position once more. Whitaker has fought and scrapped his way to this point. Few believed in Whitaker other than Whitaker. Some wonder if the beatings he took previously could have an effect now. Even against Gastelum, Whitaker took some shots.
Now, those Vegas online betting sites have Adesanya as a huge favorite for the UFC Betting odds, while Whitaker is listed as a +215 to +220 underdog. This tells you that the sports bettors and bookies alike are pretty sure how this fight may go. Even Adesanya has just an eight-month layoff while Whitaker has not fought in nearly ten months. Adesanya arguably went easy in his last fight.
For those that forget this is not the first time, the two had fought. Israel Adesanya unified the UFC Middleweight Title when he pounded Robert Whitaker into submission literally. The knockout came in Round 2 but the entire 3:33 of this fight was an exercise in Adesanya just levelling brutal punches on Whitaker. Whitaker can be dangerous from a standing and sitting position though. He has nine wins by knockout and five by submission.
Adesanya was landing more than 50% of his strikes in the first fight as well. It seemed like only a matter of time before that UFC 243 fight was going to end. Sure enough, “The Last Stylebender” unleashed a flurry of punches that ended Robert Whitaker’s night and reign as UFC Middleweight Champion. Adesanya has never looked back as he has defended his title three consecutive instances since.
Now, Whitaker has definitely improved over the last time the two fighters faced each other more than two years ago. However, the UFC 271 top picks favorite, Adesanya is not intimidated at the least. The trash talk alone between two fighters in their early 30’s has been fun to watch. However, Adesanya was the one that backed it up over “Bobby Knuckles”. Expect that again.
Even with Adesanya seeing his odds go up to -275 for February 12th, take the Nigerian-Born champion from New Zealand to defend his middleweight championship once more over Whitaker. Cash that pick in!
In a matchup that expects to be full of fireworks, Tai Tuivasa will surprise Derrick Lewis when they finally get it on this Saturday. As most fans know, these two are both very dangerous in the heavyweight class. Lewis has 13 knockouts in all which is the highest for any fighter in one weight class. Tuivasa has won every one of his fights except one by KO/TKO. He can throw down quickly and end fights even faster.
Even now, Tuivasa still is amazed at how fast his last three fights ended. To win three matches in just two minutes and 22 seconds is pretty frightening. Derrick Lewis knows his nights could be terminated instantly. Tuivasa has the kind of power that makes some believe he could be a future heavyweight champion.
The two have some rather interesting celebrations. Lewis has been known to fling his jock or remove his way too-hot neon shorts. Tuivasa has the gooey err soggy shoe celebration. This makes UFC 271 even more exciting for fans to watch. Everyone knows how aggressive both fighters can be. They can knock out or be knocked out in very short order. Lewis bounced back after losing with a Round 2 KO/TKO in his last fight.
Per Vegas, this tilt leans toward Lewis with -175 to -185 odds. Tuivasa is a slight underdog with +155 odds. While Lewis will bring the heat, the belief is that Tuivasa could end this fight before a decision is needed. We’re siding with Tuivasa as another UFC 271 Top Pick. Do not forget to check out some fine Super Bowl Vegas Odds And Bets too.
Last a matchup of the old guard to complete UFC 271 top picks in a middleweight bout. While this fight won’t have the same kind of electricity as the co-main events, Cannonier and Brunson are 37 and 38 but pack some heat.
Now, Cannonier is 14-5 in the UFC but has a slight reach and leg/strike edge over Brunson. Brunson has won five straight fights but that TKO ability from Cannonier makes a difference . Therefore, Cannonier is our pick to win on Saturday night.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.