Israel Adesanya defends the UFC Middleweight Championship (Zuffa LLC)

It looks like oddsmakers will be backing Israel Adesanya as he tries to avenge the biggest losses in his combat sports career.

After Adesanya defeated Jared Cannonier on the same night that Alex Pereira knocked out Sean Strickland, it was evident that the two rivals would meet. In 2016 Adesanya and Pereira fought for the first time in a kickboxing match in China, and Pereira would be the victor. ThPreview Changes (opens in a new tab)ey rematched in 2017, and this time instead of a decision, Periera would put a stamp on things with a left hook in round two.

However, 24 MMA fights and a championship belt have made Adesanya the favorite as the two look to meet a third time. The opening odds for Adesanya vs. Pereira at UFC 281 had Adesanya as the -200 favorite with Pereira at +170. Since opening, the odds have shifted slightly, with Adesanya now sitting at -165 and Pereira at +140 on both DraftKings and Fanduel.

What this means for sports bettors is that $100 on Pereira could return a profit of $140 if he wins, and it will take a wager of $165 on the champion to produce a prize of $100 if he is the winner.

Adesanya, of course, is the reigning middleweight champion and undefeated in the division. In fact, both men are undefeated at 185 pounds in the UFC, with only one blemish each on their total MMA records. Adesanya will now look to avenge his greatest loss in kickboxing, this time with the full arsenal of martial arts at his disposal.

Here are the opening odds for the pair’s last four fights:

Israel Adesanya’s last four fights

  • vs. Jared Cannonier (W): -300
  • vs. Robert Whittaker (W): -260
  • vs. Marvin Vettori (W): -231
  • vs. Jan Blachowicz (L): -250

Alex Pereira’s last four fights

  • vs. Sean Strickland (W): +150
  • vs. Bruno Silva (W): -170
  • vs. Andreas Michaildis (W): -150 
  • vs. Thomas Powell (W): -600

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