Israel Adesanya opens up as slight favorite over Alex Pereira at UFC 281

By Josh Evanoff - August 5, 2022

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is favored to defeat Alex Pereira in November.

Israel Adesanya

Earlier today, the fight was announced by ESPN MMA on Twitter. Thus ending speculation that the two middleweights would indeed meet. Both men are coming off massive victories last month at UFC 276.

In the main event, ‘The Last Stylebender’ scored a decision victory over Jared Cannonier. It was his fifth middleweight title defense. Furthermore, it was his third straight victory after losing to Jan Blachowicz in a bid for double-champion status in March 2021.

On the undercard, ‘Poatan’ scored a first-round knockout win over Sean Strickland. The victory was the Brazilian’s third in the UFC, and the biggest win of his MMA career to date. Pereira signed with the promotion last year in hopes of facing Adesanya in the future.

That hope was fueled by the two men’s history as kickboxers. The two middleweights squared off in 2016, and 2017 respectively. In their first outing, Pereira scored a close decision victory. In the rematch, the Brazilian scored a comeback knockout win.

Alex Pereira, UFC

Image via LFA on Facebook (Photo Credit: Jerry Chavez)

Despite those two previous wins, Alex Pereira has opened as an underdog to Israel Adesanya for their UFC 281 clash. The Brazilian has opened up as a +145 underdog, while the middleweight champion is a slight favorite at -170.

For the uninitiated, you would need to put $170 on the middleweight champion to win $100. For fans who want to take the underdog in Pereira, a $100 bet would net you $145 if he pulls off the upset.

It’s worth noting these are only the opening odds, and will likely change come fight night. But as of now, the oddsmakers seem to believe that Adesanya will retain his middleweight title in November.

What do you think about the betting odds? Who do you got in this middleweight showdown? Sound off in the comment section below!