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Israel Adesanya opens as small betting favorite over Alex Pereira for UFC 281 title fight

UFC 276: Adesanya v Cannonier Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Now that Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira are officially scheduled to lock horns at UFC 281 this coming November in New York City the oddsmakers have already rolled out some early betting lines for the main event grudge match.

Adesanya, who is the reigning UFC middleweight champion and coming off his fifth-straight title defense, previously lost twice to Pereira when the two competed under the GLORY kickboxing banner. One of those was an infamous knockout loss to “Poaton” back in 2017. It’s the final match of Adesanya’s kickboxing career before he moved over to mixed martial arts (MMA).

The oddsmakers seem to be taking those previous meetings into consideration when breaking down Adesanya’s upcoming title defense against Pereira. While Pereira is one of the best all-around strikers in combat sports right now he’s only 3-0 as a member of the UFC roster and has competed just seven times in a seven-year MMA career. To say he lacks experience in the Octagon is an understatement. Still, oddsmakers are respecting Pereira’s previous wins over Adesanya and his most recent knockout victory over Sean Strickland at UFC 276 this past July.

According to the early betting odds, Adesanya is just a -170 favorite to knock off Pereira and hold onto his 185-pound title at UFC 281. That means a $170 bet would net you $100 if “Last Stylebender” were to win. It’s incredible odds for one of the best champions in UFC history and a fighter who has never tasted defeat at the middleweight level.

On the flip side, Pereira has opened as a +145 underdog. That means a $100 bet will net you $145 if “Poaton” is able to hand Adesanya his first pro MMA loss. Those odds aren’t too shabby for a world-class striker capable of ending anyone with one shot, especially a guy he already has a knockout win over. It’s an interesting dilemma to say the least.

Stick with Mania for more UFC 281 fight card news.