UFC 259 predictions: Who are we picking in the three title fights?

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·3 min read
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Blachowicz
vs.
Adesanya

Nunes
vs.
Anderson

Yan
vs.
Sterling

Dober
vs.
Makhachev

Rakic
vs.
Santos

MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
2021: 18-15

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz
(52%)

nunes2021


Nunes
(84%)

yan2021


Yan
(57%)

makhachev2021


Makhachev
(74%)

santos2021


Santos
(58%)

Dan Tom
@DanTomMMA
2021: 21-12

trophy copy

2020 Champion

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

Danny Segura
@dannyseguratv
2021: 21-12

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

yan2021


Yan

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
2021: 20-13

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
2021: 19-14

trophy copy

2018 Champion

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

John Morgan
@MMAjunkieJohn
2021: 19-14

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2021: 18-15

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2021: 18-15

trophy copy

2017 Champion

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
2021: 17-16

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

yan2021


Yan

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
2021: 17-16

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

Simon Head
@simonhead
2021: 17-16

trophy copy

2019 Champion*

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

yan2021


Yan

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

Mike Bohn
@MikeBohnMMA
2021: 17-16

trophy copy

2014 Champion

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

sterling2021


Sterling

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
2021: 16-17

adesanya2021


Adesanya

nunes2021


Nunes

yan2021


Yan

makhachev2021


Makhachev

santos2021


Santos

Nolan King
@mma_kings
2021: 15-18

blachowicz2021


Blachowicz

nunes2021


Nunes

yan2021


Yan

makhachev2021


Makhachev

rakic2021


Rakic

The UFC one of its biggest events in recent memory this week with three title fights atop the bill.

UFC 259 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

Related

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In the main event, Jan Blachowicz (27-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) puts his light heavyweight title on the line against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC), who will attempt to become the UFC’s latest two-division champ. Despite moving up a weight class, the unbeaten Adesanya is a -250 favorite at BetMGM, but he’s only got the slimmest possible 7-6 lead from our 13 editors, writers, videographers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, women’s bantamweight and featherweight champ Amanda Nunes (20-4 MMA, 13-1 UFC) puts her 145-pound title up against challenger Megan Anderson (10-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC). Nunes is a massive 10-1 favorite, so a win for Anderson would be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Not surprisingly, Nunes is one of two unanimous picks on the main card.

It’s a close fight from a betting perspective between bantamweight champ Petr Yan (15-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) and challenger Aljamain Sterling (19-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC). The fight nearly is a pick’em with Yan at -115 and Sterling at -105. But our pickers are siding with Sterling, 8-5, to become the new champ.

The second biggest favorite on the entire card is lightweight Islam Makhachev (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC), who is -375 against Drew Dober (23-9 MMA, 9-5 UFC). Makhachev also is a 13-0 unanimous pick from our staff members.

And to open the main card, Aleksandar Rakic (13-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is a -160 favorite against Thiago Santos (21-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) at light heayweight, but he’s got a narrow 7-6 picks lead.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Blachowicz (52 percent), Nunes (84 percent), Yan (57 percent), Makhachev (74 percent) and Santos (58 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

List

UFC 259 breakdown: Does Blachowicz vs. Adesanya simply come down to power vs. speed?

List

UFC 259 breakdown: What could be Megan Anderson's path to longshot win vs. Amanda Nunes?

List

UFC 259 breakdown: Aljamain Sterling can finish Petr Yan by submission. But will he?