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UFC 253 main card matchups & betting predictions

Kara-France UFC news

UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa

Latest Odds & Fight Info
Main Event odds Adesanya -181.82 at BetOnline | Costa +145 at BetOnline
When Sunday, September 27 – main card from 6am GST
Where UFC Fight Island – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), Main Event (AU), UFC Fight Pass, UFC.com

UFC 253 betting preview

The UFC 253 card is highlighted by two highly anticipated title fights as Israel Adesanya defends his UFC Middleweight Championship against Paulo Costa and Dominick Reyes takes on Jan Blachowicz for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. While those bouts will hog the limelight, the rest of the main card this weekend in Abu Dhabi should provide fight fans with some great entertainment and plenty of UFC betting opportunities.

Kai Kara-France (-238.1) vs Brandon Royval (+200)

Kai Kara-France (21-8-0) bounced back from his first loss in the UFC to Brandon Moreno with a win over Tyson Nam in February at UFC Fight Night 168. Kara-France is 9-1 over his last 10 professional fights, with a 4-1 record in the UFC. The flyweight is a high-volume striker on his feet, and his excellent 90% takedown defense allows him to keep his fights off the mat unless he’s the one in control.

This makes for an interesting matchup against Brandon Royval (11-4-0), who has earned seven of his 11 wins – including each of his last three – by submission. Royval is 6-1 in his last seven fights after enjoying a successful UFC debut win over Tim Elliott in May. Royval has a shot if he can get this one to the mat; however, going up against Kara-France’s outstanding defense, this could be a frustrating night for the 28-year-old.

Kai Kara-France by points decision

-250 @ BetOnline

Ketlen Vieira (-169.49) vs Sijara Eubanks (+150)

Ketlen Vieira (10-1-0) looked to be on her way to a title shot with a 10-0 overall record and a 4-0 record in the UFC. But in her last fight she suffered a first round knockout loss to Irene Aldana at UFC 245. Vieira will look to bounce back against Sijara Eubanks, who took this fight on short notice to fill in for the injured Marion Reneau.

SEE ALSO: BEST BETS FOR UFC 253 EARLY PRELIMS

Eubanks (6-4-0) has won each of her last two fights, beating Sarah Moras in May of this year and Julia Avila earlier this month. She has looked far more competitive in 2020 than her 4-4 record coming into the year would have indicated, but this looks to be a bad matchup for her. Eubanks does her best work on the mat, but so does Vieira, who has the skill edge here. This should be a competitive fight, but Vieira should control more of it than her opponent.

Ketlen Vieira by points decision

+100 @ BetOnline

Zubaira Tukhugov (-120.48) vs Hakeem Dawodu (+100)

This looks on paper to be the best non-title fight on the UFC 253 card. Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1) bounced back from a loss in his UFC debut to win four straight fights with the promotion, most recently defeating Julio Arce at UFC 244 last November. Zubaira Tukhugov (19-4-1) is 10-1-1 over his last 12 professional fights including a 4-1-1 record in the UFC. 

While both of these fighters have knockout power, this is really a classic striker versus grappler matchup. Dawodu does his best work on his feet with excellent kickboxing skills, while Tukhugov is at his best in the top position on the mat. Both fighters will be jostling for position throughout this match, and it should be a lot of fun. It’s too close to call, but we’ll go with Dawodu’s reach advantage and takedown defense being enough to keep Tukhugov at bay en route to a close decision win.

Hakeem Dawodu by points decision

+225 @ BetOnline
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