The Octagon heads to Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida this weekend for UFC 287: Pereira vs. Adesanya 2. The headliner is a rematch between UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira and his rival Israel Adesanya, and there are 13 other action packed fights on the card.  Below we will discuss our 3 favorite free plays on the fight card, but subscribe to be a “VIPick” member for our very best UFC 287 expert predictions and more…

Israel Adesanya (-130) vs. Alex Pereira (+105)

This rematch is very intriguing, especially given the history between these two fighters. In their first MMA fight last year at UFC 281, Adesanya was controlling most of the fight with his striking and grappling and appeared to be on his way to a decision win before fatiguing and getting finished by Pereira with strikes in the final minutes.  Many people now think that Pereira has Izzy’s number, and that’s certainly possible. But from what we saw in that first fight, Adesanya was the better mixed martial artist for almost the entire fight… until he wasn’t, right at the very end. Obviously, Pereira can land big shots and finish Adesanya – we just saw that happen last November. But overall, we still think Adesanya is the better MMA fighter, and think he has the advantages in this fight as far as volume striking and grappling goes.  He will need to be more careful this time around, but if he protects his chin, we see Izzy getting his belt back. 

UFC 287 Prediction:  Israel Adesanya moneyline (-130) at BetUS

UFC 287 Best Bet:  Israel Adesanya wins via DEC (+170) at BetOnline

UFC 287 - Israel Adesanya

Gilbert Burns (-465) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+380)

Although the odds are incredibly lopsided, this one shouldn’t lack any juice. Gilbert Burns is 3-2 in his last five fights, but his reputation has skyrocketed as of late. And his ability to wrestle or throw hands should provide a fascinating bit of potential against a fighter who wants to keep the fight on his feet. Will “Durinho” Burns do that? It’s possible. He certainly doesn’t shy away from proving a point, and that would be a heck of a point to prove, but we could also see him getting this one to the ground given his ability to grapple. Masvidal has lost his last three fights, but the competition has been stiff. Although he was knocked out by former champion Kamaru Usman during that time, this is something that hasn’t happened over his entire 51 professional fight career. “Gamebred” Masvidal goes the distance, but Burns does too much damage in a unanimous decision victory.

UFC 287 Prediction:  Gilbert Burns moneyline (-465) at Bovada

UFC 287 Best Bet:  Gilbert Burns wins via DEC (+150) at BetOnline

UFC 287 - Gilbert Burns

Raul Rosas Jr. (-220) vs. Christian Rodriguez (+185)

Opening up the main card, Raul Rosas Jr. fights Christian Rodriguez in a bantamweight bout. Rosas Jr. is a -220 betting favorite, and we definitely like him to win this fight. Rosas, the 18-year-old prodigy, will enjoy a solid spotlight fight against the (more) seasoned Rodriguez. In his UFC debut, Rosas delivered a submission win in the first round. With the buzz building, he’ll draw a more seasoned fighter in Rodriguez, who has plenty of submission ability of his own… and we aren’t sure it will matter. If this fight goes to the ground, given both fighters’ skill sets, it could be fascinating. Technically, it will be a joy to watch. Despite his age, Rosas looks like a future star. And as the lead-in fight on a PPV, the hype only picks up steam with another early win.

UFC 287 Prediction: Raul Rosas Jr. moneyline (-220) at BetOnline

UFC 287 Best Bet: Raul Rosas Jr. wins via SUB (+160) at BetOnline

UFC 287 - Raul Rosas Jr

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