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5 bold UFC Predictions for UFC 287, including a fourth straight loss for Masvidal

Get a round of bold UFC predictions for the promotion’s next event, UFC 287 on April 8.

After a week off, the MMA world leader returns to action with a pay-per-view card in Miami, Florida. In the headliner, middleweight gold will be on the line as division great Israel Adesanya will look to exercise the demons of reigning champ Alex Pereira and get his title belt back.

The Brazilian holds three wins over “The Last Stylebender” — two in kickboxing and one in MMA. No fighter has dominated the former titlist to this level and a second straight loss in the Octagon to “Poatan” will forever change Adesanya’s legacy in the sport.

Related: UFC tonight – Fight card, odds, watch times for the UFC’s next event

UFC 287 will also feature a major matchup at welterweight between fan-favorite Jorge Masvidal, and top-five fighter Gilbert Burns. The card will also include the return of Octagon veterans Rob Font, Kevin Holland, Michael Chiesa, and stud prospect Raul Rosas, Jr.

With that in mind, let’s make a few bold UFC predictions for the promotion’s next PPV event.

UFC predictions: 5 UFC 287 fighters getting Ws Saturday

Alex Pereira (7-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (23-2)

ufc predictions
Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

This matchup between Adesanya and Pereira is extremely fascinating. The New Zealander will go down as one of the great middleweights of all time, however, legends are rarely so badly owned by one specific fighter.

If Adesanya wants to be among the immortals of the sport, he absolutely must win this fight. Another defeat will forever place him a step below his long-time rival and greatly changes the narrative around his impressive fighting career.

What makes it all the more interesting is that the bout is also a matchup of true elite fighters that are evenly matched with a result that can go either way. But in this case, expect Adesanya to finish the story, and where he failed in finishing Pereira in previous fights, he gets his revenge definitively this time around.

  • UFC 287 odds: Pereira (+110) vs. Adesanya (-130)
  • Prediction: Adesanya by TKO, Round 3

Gilbert Burns (21-5) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-16)

Two years ago, Jorge Masvidal would have been the favorite in his upcoming scrap with Gilbert Burns, and likely by a big number. My how the times have changed.

The two meet at UFC 287 with “Gamebred” on a three-fight losing skid and Burns among the elites of the welterweight division. In many ways, this is still a good matchup for Masvidal. However, his age (38) and long his long history in the sport are problematic at this level of the fight game.

With the Brazilian being a bit closer to his physical peak and deadly in more than one way, look for that to show as he frustrates, grounds, and submits the American at UFC 287.

  • Odds: Burns (-435) vs. Masvidal (+350)
  • UFC Prediction: Burns by submission, Round 2

Kevin Holland (23-9) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6)

Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzininbio is a matchup that has fight-of-the-night potential. Both are down to scrap, can finish foes early, and aren’t looking to win fights on the mat. However, the pairing favors”Trailblazer” much more since his weakness has long been dominant wrestlers.

Ponzinnibio is very tough and packs a serious punch, but his foe will have a speed and size advantage on fight night. This will spell trouble for him as he is likely handed his fourth loss in his last six bouts, and destructively.

  • Odds: Holland (-240) vs. Ponzinibbio (+200)
  • Prediction: Holland by KO, Round 1

Kelvin Gastelum (16-8) vs. Chris Curtis (30-9)

ufc predictions
Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Gastelum’s scrap with Chris Curtis is another matchup that has FOTN possibilities. But it’s also a fascinating piece of matchmaking because both are in very different places in their respective careers.

Curtis has been highly entertaining in winning four of five bouts since his long sought-after debut with the promotion two years ago. While Gastelum — a man who nearly won the middleweight crown a few years back — has lost five of six and is in desperate need of a victory.

While Gastelum has had trouble staying healthy and active in the cage, he is still in his prime and the more skilled fighter. That should show at UFC 287 and that’s why he will score his first victory in two years at the event.

  • Odds: Gastelum (-135) vs. Curtis (+115)
  • Prediction: Gastelum by TKO, Round 2

Raul Rosas Jr. (7-0) vs. Christian Rodriguez (8-1)


If you are a fight fan looking for the next big thing in the UFC, then checking out Raul Rosas Jr.’s next scrap is a must. The Contender Series contract winner is only 18 years old and has won all but two of his fights in the first round. There is a lot of hype around him and it will be interesting to see how he handles it all.

If you need any more evidence of how high the promotion is on “El Nino Problema” it’s the fact that he is getting a main card spot to open this PPV event. While opponent Christian Rodriguez is a solid prospect in his own right, the UFC is not looking for Rosas Jr. to lose in his PPV debut. Expect a fairly dominant showing as he moves his record to 8-0 at the expense of a fellow youngster on the roster.

  • Odds: Rosas Jr. (-240) vs. Rodriguez (+200)
  • Prediction: Rosas Jr. by TKO, Round 2

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