UFC 287 heads to Miami, Florida this weekend with a card stacked top to bottom with clashes that are sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. In the main event, Alex Pereira looks to continue his domination over Israel Adesanya as the latter attempts to regain his Middleweight throne. In the co-main local legend Jorge Masvidal faces Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland faces Santiago Ponzinibbio in a blockbuster Welterweight clash. We take a look at my three best bets below.
UFC 287 Preview & Betting Picks
Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya
Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya headline the 287 pay-per-view card, with the Brazilian looking to go 4-0 against The Last Stylebender in MMA and kickboxing combined. Pereira was able to knock out his counterpart in the closing minutes of their last encounter when it looked like he was bound to lose by decision. Adesanya was in control of the fight and almost stopped the Brazilian in the first round but he was saved by the bell. The Last Stylebender is the more well-rounded fighter and the more technical kickboxer but Pereira has the power equaliser and therefore this is a tough fight to call.
Being 3-0 against a fighter is also a mental block to get over but I must side with the former champ to reclaim the title. Adesanya is the more complete MMA athlete and came unstuck late when he allowed himself to get pressed up against the side of the Octagon. If Adesanya keeps his lateral movement up over 25 minutes he should win the rematch and reclaim the belt.
Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Kevin Holland takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio in a bout sure to be absolute fireworks. Ponzinibbio has always had the ability to end the fight in an instant but on paper, this is Holland’s fight to lose. Ponzinibbio has never been able to maintain a high pace for the full 15 minutes and while looking impressive in his return from a spell out of the cage due to back-to-back injuries, he has also appeared to have also lost some of his explosiveness. Holland should be able to push the pace and tire out his foe. He should outwork his opponent and his mix of speed and flair is likely to put Ponzinibbio on the back foot and against Holland that is recipe for disaster. Back Trailblazer to get back into the win column.
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Chris Curtis
Kelvin Gastelum comes into this fight 1-5 in his last six fights. Before his miserable streak, he pushed Israel Adesanya to the brink and secured a devastating knockout of former champion Michael Bisping. Chris Curtis has burst onto the scene to go 5-1 in the UFC with three knockout wins. However, this is a big step up for Curtis and he meets the sharpest boxer he has ever. Back Gastelum to stop the skid in what is a genuine sleeper fight that should be an all-out war.