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Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva - 2/9/19 UFC 234 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva
Date & Time Saturday February 9, 2019, 11:30 PM (EST)
Rod Laver Arena
Melbourne, Australia
The Line
The Line: Silva +501 / Adesanya -624 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva fight Saturday during UFC 234 at the Rod Laver Arena.

Israel Adesanya enters this fight with a 15-0 record and has won 86 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Adesanya’s fifth fight since 2018, and he’s coming off a November win over Derek Brunson. Adesanya is averaging 4.51 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Adesanya is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Adesanya is now 4-0 under the UFC banner and has earned performance of the night in three of those fights. Adesanya is simply an athletic freak who comes from a kickboxing and boxing background and is relentless with his standup striking. Adesanya has insane length and variety to his shots, and you can’t help but watch him and see a lot of Jon Jones in his fighting style. Adesanya is a must-watch fighter these days and is arguably the best in the sport when it comes to using his legs and knees. The concern for Adesanya is that he’s shown little to no ground game, as he’s all stand up striking. Eventually, Adesanya will have to answer those questions on the canvas, and it could be his downfall. This will be Adesanya’s fourth career fight in Australia.

Anderson Silva enters this fight with a 34-8 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. Silva has split his last five fights and is coming off a 2017 win over Derek Brunson. Silva is averaging 3.15 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 61 percent. Silva is averaging 0.19 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 75 percent. Silva will fight for the first time in two years and has a chance to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2012. At nearly 44 years old, Silva is a shell of himself and a lot slower than he once was, which explains his recent results. However, let’s not overlook the legend just yet, as he’s still one of the most accomplished fighters in the history of the sport and has an insane fighting IQ. Silva may not be the striker or the defender he was years ago, but we’ve seen plenty of fighters survive off mental sharpness alone, and there’s no substitute for that experience. Silva is also still a capable wrestler, and if this fight goes to the canvas, he’d have a considerable edge. This will be Silva’s first career fight in Australia.

This price is rather insane when you consider who Silva is and his experience. He may be outmatched physically, but the mental approach is the last thing to go and it can carry a fighter well past their prime. Silva also would have a clear edge on the ground and could win this fight with a few takedowns. There’s a window for an upset if able to drag Adesanya into deep waters. With that said, Silva isn’t the same fighter he was even three or four years ago, and he hasn’t been in the octagon in two years. Adesanya is downright scary with his athleticism and leg kicks, and it’s tough to see an older and slower Silva keep up with that sort of approach. Adesanya is just too explosive, has too much variety and is somebody you don’t want to step in front of right now.

Regardless, betting Adesanya at this price doesn’t have much value, so I’ll take Adesanya to win this fight within the distance at a much cheaper price.

Adesanya Wins Inside Distance -155

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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