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UFC 271 prediction: expert picks including Adesanya vs Whittaker 2

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Israel Adesanya takes on Robert Whittaker in the headline bout of a stacked UFC 271 event this Saturday night, and our MMA man is on hand with full betting previews and UFC Expert Picks for each fight on the card. Plus, find out how you can claim a $1,000 deposit bonus at BetOnline. 

Bet on UFC 271: Adesanya vs Whitaker at BetOnline

  • UFC 271: Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker
  • T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Saturday, February 10 at approximately 22:00 EST
  • ESPN+ (PPV)

Headlined by a middleweight title rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, UFC 271 is sure to be superb entertainment, not to mention a great opportunity for America’s bettors!

For previews of all the main card bouts, as well as the latest odds and our expert UFC Picks, read on:

UFC 270: Main Card Bouts

  • Israel Adesanya (c) vs Robert Whittaker – Middleweight Championship
  • Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa
  • Jarod Cannonier vs Derek Brunson
  • Kyler Phillips vs Marcelo Rojo
  • Bobby Green vs Nasrat Haqparast

UFC 271 Predictions and Picks

Read on to get full fight previews for each of the five main card bouts, as well as our UFC 271 expert picks:

Israel Adesanya (c) vs Robert Whittaker Prediction

Israel Adesanya UFC 271 picks
UFC 271 picks – Israel Adesanya

BetOnline odds: Adesanya: (-270); Whittaker (+230)

Australian, former-UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, finally gets a chance to reclaim the strap he lost to Israel Adesanya in Saturday’s main event.

Whittaker (24-5) has only lost once since 2014. But, unlike other fighters, the Aussie was forced to do it the hard way with regards to getting a second crack at Adesanya, taking on and defeating the likes of Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastellum.

On the feet, Whittaker is known as a volume boxer, landing 4.68 significant strikes per minute and absorbing significantly less than that at 3.34 per minute. The Reaper also has underrated wrestling and is very difficult to take down.

The latter point is unlikely to trouble the champ too much, mind: Israel Adesanya (21-1) is a kickboxer first and foremost. The Nigerian-come-Kiwi will look to stay on the outside, avoid Whittaker’s barrages, and pick him off with clean strikes when the chances present themselves.

If the first fight taught us anything, it’s that Adesanya’s ability to evade and counter-strike match up well against Whitaker. The champ claimed the belt back at UFC 243 after knocking Whittaker out with that exact formula after all.

But, in his one loss since joining the UFC against the former light-heavyweight champ, Jan Blachowicz, every fighter, and his dog has now seen that it is possible to grind on The Last Stylebender if you can get hands on him and keep him on the mat long enough.

As such, we’re backing the much improved Robert Whittaker to keep the fight at close quarters, try to get a few takedowns, and survive into the championship rounds this time around…

But, after watching the first fight, we’re just not convinced that Whittaker has evolved enough to handle the level of technical striking that Adesanya possesses.

UFC Pick: Adesanya to win via KO in the fourth round

Bet on Adesanya to win (-270) at BetOnline

Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa Prediction

UFC 271 Picks Tai Tuivasa
UFC 271 Picks – Tai Tuivasa

BetOnline odds: Lewis (-178); Tuivasa (+153)

Derrick Lewis (26-8-1 NC) returned to form following a disappointing defeat to Cyril Gane by KOing Chris Daukaus towards the end of last year.

Always the bridesmaid; never the bride, he might be. But, Lewis is still 5-1 in his last six fights, and boasts career wins over the current champion, Francis Ngannou, as well as top-5 opponents such as Curtis Blaydes, and Alexander Volkov.

The recipe for the 37-year-old’s success is simple, Lewis goes into the Octagon with the sole intention of taking his opponent’s head off. And, with 13 KOs on his record since entering the UFC, few could argue that it’s generally a winning approach!

Lewis’s next opponent, Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, boasts a similar in-Octagon strategy, however, which is what makes this such an intriguing contest.

The Kiwi, famed for his trademarked ‘Shoeie’ celebration has won four successive bouts by way of KO, including a huge win vs Augusto Sakai last time out.

Honestly, with such power in all four hands on show, either man could win this bout – it’s just going to depend on who strikes first… and hardest.

But, we like the look of Tuivasa over the past year. The New Zealander has added a mean leg kick to the Arsenal and, looking at the tape, seems marginally faster than The Black Beast both when striking and circling the mat.

UFC Pick: Tuivasa to win by KO in the second round

Bet on Tuivasa to win at (+153) at BetOnline

Jarod Cannonier vs Derek Brunson Prediction

UFC 271 Picks Jared Cannonier
UFC 271 Picks – Jared Cannonier

BetOnline Odds: Cannonier (-155); Brunson (+135)

Jared Cannonier suffered his first middleweight L to Robert Whittaker last year but rebounded well to defeat Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier is now 4-1 in the weight class with three wins coming by way of knockout.

At middleweight, Cannonier moves and flows better and connects with much more pop than he used to at light-heavyweight, which has helped him to become the No. 3 ranked fighter in the division.

At No.4 in the division and standing in the way of Cannonier’s title bid, however, is Derek Brunson (23-7).

A powerful striker with a solid wrestling base, Brunson submitted British fighter Darren Till back in September and is now in the midst of a five-fight winning streak. Plus, he holds big career Ws over the likes of Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall.

Brunson has had a long storied career in the UFC and, with a win on Saturday, few could argue that he deserves a shot at the strap…

But we’re backing the younger, hungrier, and slightly faster Cannonier to take this one points.

UFC Picks: Cannonier to win via the judges’ scorecards

Bet on Cannonier to win (-155) at BetOnline

Kyler Phillips vs Marcelo Rojo Prediction

UFC 271 Picks Kyler Phillips
UFC 271 Picks – Kyler Phillips

BetOnline Odds: Phillips (-425); Rojo (+325)

Kyler Phillips (9-2) boasts an elite skill set with regards to striking and has already amassed a highlight reel of great head kicks, KOs, and spin moves in his young UFC career.

Unfortunately, Phillips does sometimes get a bit carried away, and, exactly as he did in the defeat against Raulian Paiva in his last bout, does have a tendency to burn his tank early.

Marcelo Rojo (16-8), on the other hand, is a much more compact and efficient fighter but lacks the dazzling array of strikes showcased on the regular by Phillips.

Still, despite lacking in the technical department, in his first and only UFC fight to date, Rojo dispatched Charles Jourdain in such a manner, keeping the fight at close quarters, connecting with efficiency, and landing 106 total strikes en route to a 3rd round KO win.

All things considered, if Phillips energy reserves fail him again, don’t be surprised to see Rojo take this one on points…

But, we just have a sneaky suspicion that Phillips’ athleticism could prove too much in the early goings and that, perhaps, Rojo might walk into one of Phillips’ creative leg kicks.

UFC Picks: Phillips to win via KO in round one

Bet on Phillips to win at (-425) at BetOnline

Bobby Green vs Nasrat Haqparast Prediction

UFC 271 Picks Nasrat Haqparast
UFC 271 Picks – Nasrat Haqparast

BetOnline Odds: Green (-135); Haqparast (+115)

A veteran of 41-fights, Bobby Green (28-12-1) boasts great boxing skills, several defensive ploys, including a rope-a-dope style more commonly seen in the squared circle, and solid wrestling fundamentals.

Green will need all of his experience to overcome Nasrat Haqparast (13-4), too:

The German is the younger of the two fighters by a stretch and moves as such. Haqparast is also capable of connecting with sharp strikes from hard-to-cover angles thanks to his kickboxing base.

The only criticism currently thrown at Haqparast is that his MMA style is a bit predictable. The German struggles to adapt in the Octagon and, if the kickboxing fails, he’s known to brawl and ends up getting taken down to the mat where, again, he’s nothing special.

That said, this is a close fight and we like the underdog odds on the younger fighter. So, we’re backing Haqparast.

UFC Picks: Haqparast to win on points

Bet on Haqparast to win (+115) at BetOnline

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BetOnline UFC269 Free Bets
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