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UFC 275: Israel Adesanya picks winners for the title fights and Zhang vs Jedrzejczyk 2

Jason Burgos

With UFC 275 just days away, opinions from around the MMA game are coming in about the card’s biggest fights. One of those talents throwing their two cents into the conversation is pound-for-pound superstar and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

The UFC’s pay-per-view card from Singapore on Saturday night features three matchups that fans are eagerly anticipating. In the evening’s featured strawweight bout, former division queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk returns after two years away and battles one-time champion Zhang Weili in a rematch of their classic bout from 2020.

In the night’s co-main event, women’s flyweight goddess Valentina Shevchenko will look to defend her title for a seventh time when she faces top contender Taila Santos. And in the card’s headliner, Glover Teixeira will defend his recently won light heavyweight title for the first time against fast-rising star Jiri Prochazka.

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Adesanya, the third-ranked fighter on the Sportsnaut UFC pound-for-pound rankings, has an elite level fight IQ and understanding of what it takes to win at the highest levels. On a Thursday post to his YouTube channel, the 185-pound champion broke down the night’s top three fights and made picks for the winners.

Glover Teixeira vs Jiri Prochazka

When it comes to the UFC 275 main event participants, he has a great deal of respect for Teixeira and Prochazka. While he admits the champ is the more textbook and sound fighter, he is leaning toward the younger challenger proving why he is a betting favorite heading into the bout.

“[Prochazka’s] striking is awkward but it works for him. He’s long, he’s rangy,” Adesanya explained. “Glover’s a good pressure fighter as well. He likes that Mike Tyson style, hands up. Glover’s much more intelligent with his striking. He’s much more textbook. Jiri is much more expressive with his striking. But they both come forward in a fight. Who can make the other person take more of a back step first? … If I’m gonna bet, I’m gonna go with Jiri. [He’s] young, energy, tall, rangy, awkward [and] Glover’s had problems with that in the past.”

Valentina Shevchenko vs Taila Santos

Shevchenko is a huge favorite ahead of her scrap against Santos. And it’s unsurprising that “The Last Stylebender” also believes Shevchenko will get the W inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 11.

“I’m betting on [Shevchenko] because like I said, momentum is a powerful thing, and she’s a beast round now,” he said. “I don’t know who’s gonna beat her soon but we’ve seen crazy s*** happen in the women’s division lately.”

Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2

ufc 275
Credit: Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It could be argued that Jedrzejczyk vs Zhang 2 is the most anticipated bout on the card. The pair put on the greatest fight in women’s MMA history in their first go around, and fight fans will be hoping to once again see a world-class blend of elite technique and violence in the sequel.

Among the top three fights on the card, this was the only one where Adesanya went with the underdog in Jedrzejczyk.

“It’s gonna be a good fight. Different from the first fight,” said Adesanya. “The rematch is three rounds. Adjustments to make when you know you don’t have 10 extra minutes? Start early, start fast. Bring the energy straight away … I’m gonna go with Joanna. I’m gonna say she should just be like old Joanna. The way she was when she fought all these chicks in the early times. She was just ferocious.”

UFC 275 kicks off at 6:30 PM EST on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+. The main card PPV for $74.99 airs exclusively on ESPN+.