Israel Adesanya
Mike Roach/Zuffa Llc/Getty Images

The UFC is back this Saturday from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas for UFC 259. Arguably the biggest card of the year with 3 title fights (Women’s Featherweight, Bantamweight, and Light Heavyweight) with the main event between reigning champion Jan Blachowicz and current Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. This card promises to be an all-time great, and I can not wait. We won’t talk about my 2-3 record last time out, so let’s just dive right into this, shall we?

UFC 259 Opening Fight: Thiago Santos x Aleksandar Rakic (Light Heavyweight)

Talk about starting off UFC 259 with a bang. A uber-competitive tilt between two promising young stars in Thiago Santos and Aleksandar Rakic. Rakic looked dominant in his last bout against perennial title contender Anthony Smith, winning by clear unanimous decision. Standing across from him is, in my opinion, the guy who has ever been closest to dethroning Light Heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones in Thiago Santos. Let’s not act like if Santos didn’t blow out his knee in round one against Jones that he wouldn’t have beaten him. At any rate, this fight promises to deliver on all fronts and I expect someone to be finished here. I am taking Rakic here as his rise toward the top continues here. Rakic via 2nd round submission

Islam Makhachev x Drew Dober (Lightweight)

Listen, no disrespect to Drew Dober. He is on a three-fight win streak, coming off a good performance back in January. All respect to him! But good lord he does not stand a chance against baby Khabib here. Islam Makachev mauls people. His takedown rate and his ability to smother his opponent when he gets them down is unlike anyone in the division…except the man who will corner him this weekend in Khabib Nurmagomedov. Expect another showcase here for Makhachev here in a dominant decision win. Makhachev via unanimous decision.

Petr Yan (C) x Aljamain Sterling (Bantamweight Championship)

I am calling it now: the first of our three title fights WILL win Fight of the Night for UFC 259. I am beyond excited about this fight. Petr Yan versus Aljamain Sterling brings what you love most about the sport. A champion who is willing to fight anyone and looks damn good doing it against a challenger who looks hell-bent on claiming gold at 135. Yan is riding a 10 fight win streak and is coming off a masterclass against Jose Aldo back in July of 2020. Sterling is on an impressive win streak of his own, at 5. He last fought in June of 2020 in a performance of the night submission win against Cory Sandhagen (another to look out for in this division).

Typically, I am all for champions defending against a first-time title challenger, but I am going against my typical betting ways and putting the house on Sterling. He has the look of a champion, the grit and determination it takes to hold the gold. Give me Sterling in what WILL be Fight of the Night. Sterling via 4th round submission

Amanda Nunes (C) x Megan Anderson (Women’s Featherweight Championship)

What more is there to say about Amanda Nunes? She is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history, man or woman. The list of women she has beaten (Rousey, Holm x2, Cyborg, Shevchenko, etc.) is among the greatest who’s who in combat sports history. At this point in her career, she is trying to hold up two divisions and defend both belts she has. She has already defended her 135lb belt and now she makes the jump to 145 to defend against Anderson. I have mentioned before how much I love Amanda Nunes…

Nah, I’m just kidding. I had you going there for a second though, didn’t I? Megan Anderson has all the tools to be a champion someday. She is on a two-fight winning streak, looking very good in both finishes for this win streak. Her time will come, but it does not come Saturday. Anderson is +750 which is so tempting, but I will never bet against Amanda Nunes. Nunes via 2nd round TKO.

UFC 259 Main Event: Jan Blachowicz (LHW C) x Israel Adesanya (MW C) (Light Heavyweight Championship)

UFC 259 sees a double champion challenge. Truth be told, I am not AS excited about this one as everyone else. Yes, I am so intrigued to see Blachowicz defend his title for the first time. I am intrigued to see Adesanya fight anytime, especially moving up a weight class to challenge for a second belt. On paper, you have two guys who can stand and bang it out and know how to finish people. We also have never seen Adesanya on the ground really. How will he fare if Blachowicz takes him down? There is so much to be learned in this fight, and honestly, as I am writing this I am still on the fence on who I am going to pick.

Do I flip a coin? Ask the lady who she thinks wins? (For what its worth, she picked Adesanya by unanimous decision) I don’t hate that pick! I don’t see this fight going the distance, but it will go into the championship rounds. Both guys are far too tough to be finished early. Give me Adesanya. There, that’s my decision. Please, if Adesanya wins give us him versus Jones in an arena with SOME fans. Adesanya via 4th round TKO.

There we have it! My official UFC 259 predictions! Agree? Disagree? Comment below and tell me what y’all think!

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