The UFC is in Miami this Saturday night for a middleweight title rematch in the main event of UFC 287. Current champ Alex Pereira will defend his 185-pound title against the man he took it from, as former champ Israel Adesanya tries yet again to score a win against the nemesis who’s now beaten him in two different sports.
In the co-main event, local favorite Jorge Masvidal will try to prove he’s still a welterweight contender when he takes on former title challenger Gilbert Burns.
Before diving into the full analysis, here’s a look at the best odds and offers from the major sportsbooks. Click on any of the odds below to navigate to the sportsbook with the best available price.
UFC 287 Odds For Entire Card
UFC 287 Main Card
Alex Pereira () vs. Israel Adesanya ()
Gilbert Burns () vs. Jorge Masvidal ()
Rob Font () vs. Adrian Yanez ()
Kevin Holland () vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio ()
Raul Rosas Jr. () vs. Christian Rodriguez ()
UFC 287 Prelims
Kelvin Gastelum () vs. Chris Curtis ()
Michelle Waterson-Gomez () vs. Luana Pinheiro ()
Gerald Meerschaert () vs. Joe Pyfer ()
Karl Williams () vs. Chase Sherman ()
UFC 287 Early Prelims
Cynthia Calvillo () vs. Lupita Godinez ()
Ignacio Bahamondes () vs. Trey Ogden ()
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke () vs. Steve Garcia ()
Jaqueline Amorim () vs. Sam Hughes ()
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UFC 287 Main Event Preview
It’s a little strange to see Pereira enter as the champion but also the slight underdog. That’s not just because he took the fifth-round TKO victory the last time these two fought back in November. It’s also because, between MMA and kickboxing, this will be the fourth time these two have fought professionally – and Pereira has won all three prior contests.
That’s not to say Adesanya can’t beat this guy. He had Pereira hurt early on in their last meeting, but ran out of time in the round before he could finish. He also discovered some holes in Pereira’s ground game, though it’s fair to wonder if Adesanya has the wrestling skills or the temperament to commit to exploiting those in the rematch.
Pereira is a big man for middleweight, which negates many of the advantages Adesanya is used to having. Here, he can’t just rely on being able to easily control the distance while his opponent has to choose between diving into danger or staying on the perimeter and getting slowly picked apart.
Adesanya has to find angles from which he can attack Pereira, but also has to be wary of the new champ’s considerable power. Of course, after three total fights with Pereira, two of which Adesanya lost by knockout, you’d think he wouldn’t need any reminders that the big Brazilian can hit.
All the available evidence says that when these two fight, Pereira wins. Adesanya either has to be absolutely perfect in his execution, or he has to come up with a new strategy, likely based on what he saw in the last fight. Either of those is entirely possible. At the same time, underdog odds on the man who has yet to lose a single meeting in this rivalry is a very attractive offer.
Main Event Round Betting
Main Event Method of Victory Odds
UFC 287 Co-Main Event Preview
Masvidal is coming off three straight losses to two suffocating wrestlers, one of whom knocked him out cold when he was lucky enough to get a second straight UFC welterweight title shot for no good reason. That makes this a must-win fight if he wants to be a real player in this division instead of just a reasonably popular also-ran.
But the UFC isn’t doing Masvidal many favors by giving him Burns in his hometown. He has the grappling skills to present a real problem for Masvidal on the mat, but he’s also a dangerous man standing up. There just isn’t any one area where Masvidal has a clear advantage, and at 38 he’s not the athlete he used to be either.
Burns is a heavy favorite for a very good reason. Masvidal’s best chance for an upset is to find some way of pulling a rabbit out of the hat, just like he did against Ben Askren in the fight that really put him on the map. Thing about those kinds of tricks, though, is that they usually only work once.
Co-Main Event Round Betting
Co-Main Event Method of Victory Odds
Other Main Card Bouts
Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez
There’s a lot of excitement about Yanez, who broke in via Dana White’s Contender Series and has won five straight in the UFC – four via KO. Font represents a step up in competition, but two straight losses have put his back against the wall here. Seems like maybe UFC matchmakers are hoping to see some of the shine on Font’s name rub off onto Yanez while his star is on the rise.
Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
The thing about Holland is you just never know what version you’re going to get. Sometimes, he seems unfocused and unserious. Other times, he looks like a special talent who could make a real run if he could only stay consistent. One thing we do know is that he took a punishing loss against Stephen Thompson only four months ago. And Ponzinibbio is no gimme as a rebound fight. If there’s an underdog worth looking at on this undercard, it might be the “Argentine Dagger.”
Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez
It’s no secret that the UFC is invested in the success of Rosas and would like to see good things continue to happen for the 18-year-old boy wonder. Rodriguez is no can, but his record looks better on paper than it really is. It’s always a risk putting too much faith in a raw, still untested product like Rosas. But, the UFC didn’t bring Rodriguez in for this pairing hoping he’d win.
Prelim Prop Bet Options
If you’re looking for method/time of finish bets, you could do a lot worse than banking on strawweights Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Luana Pinheiro to go the distance (-300). Meanwhile, heavyweights Chase Sherman and Karl Williams probably won’t (-125).
Another intriguing prelim fight is Joe Pyfer vs. Gerald Meerschaert. People are excited about Pyfer, and with good reason, but Meerschaert is an experienced opponent who can spoil a prospect’s coming out party if he’s not ready for the step up.
How to Watch UFC 287
- Early prelims on ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET
- Prelims on ESPN, 8 p.m. ET
- Main card on ESPN+/PPV, 10 p.m. ET