Israel Adesanya's Surprised He's Betting Favorite Vs. Alex Pereira
Israel Adesanya Surprised I'm Fave In Pereira Rematch ... Oddsmakers Are Smarter Than I Thought
4/4/2023 12:15 AM PT
Despite losing to Alex Pereira last year, Israel Adesanya is a slight favorite against his bitter rival heading into their rematch at UFC 287 ... and Izzy admits it surprises him, and shows the oddsmakers in Las Vegas actually do know a little something about fighting.
"I am surprised [that I'm the favorite] to be honest, cause I thought these bookies were not as smart as they are," 33-year-old Adesanya told Mike Babcock on the TMZ Sports TV show (airs weekdays on FS1).
"I'm surprised they actually picked me as the favorite cause I am the more polished fighter, but he's the guy who got the tools, he's got that nuke. Only a few fighters in history have that," Izzy continued, explaining why he assumed oddsmakers would've given Pereira the advantage.
"[Coach] Eugene said in an interview, you're lucky to face a Mike Tyson, you're lucky to face a guy like David Tua, you're lucky to face a guy like Deontay Wilder even just once in your career. You're lucky to face a guy like Alex Pereira even once in your career. So, lucky me."
BetOnline.ag has Adesanya as a -137 favorite (risk $137 to win $100). Pereira, who won by 5th round TKO -- a fight he was losing on the scorecards -- is listed at +117 (bet $100 to win $117).
FYI, bookmakers aren't necessarily picking who they believe will win a fight when they set odds. It's about trying to get as close to even money wagered on both sides -- allowing the sportsbook to collect the vig (essentially a fee charged by the sportsbook). However, bettors generally pick the man or woman they believe will win a fight. So, Adesanya's the favorite.
Sticking with the first UFC fight, we talked to Izzy about the end of round 1, where he landed a 3-piece combo, buckling Alex's legs.
"One more shot, one more shot is all it took. I did the same thing when I fought my guy Rob [Whittaker] at UFC 243, the last second I dropped him. I'm dangerous every second of every fight."
There's much more ... we talked to Izzy about parallels he sees between him and Muhammad Ali and whether he's added size to combat Pereira, a huge middleweight. Also, with Endeavor buying WWE, to go along with UFC, which Ari Emmanuel's company already owns, we asked Adesanya if he'd consider wrestling.
"That's later on down the track. Later on down the track."
For more, tune into the TMZ Sports Podcast available on all podcast platforms!