Andrew Wilson |  Fri 23/04/2021 - 10:27 EDT

UFC 261 Betting Preview

UFC 261 Betting Preview

A full house, a stacked card, and three title fights – UFC 261 is going to be amazing. To get you ready for the event, check out our in-depth UFC 261 betting predictions.

Three title fights and the first full crowd at a UFC event since March 2020 – UFC 261 is going to be a night to remember. To help you prepare for the night – which takes place in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 24 – check out our UFC 261 betting preview.

Main Event – Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal II

Fighter #1Sports InteractionSports InteractionSports InteractionFighter #2
Kamara Usman1.28TBA3.50Jorge Masvidal
Valentina Shevchenko1.21TBA4.15Jessica Andrade
Weili Zhang1.51TBA2.55Rose Namajunas

Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal headline UFC 261 with their rematch for the UFC Welterweight Championship. At UFC 251 – Usman and Masvidal duked it out until the end, with Usman coming out as the victor by unanimous decision. Masvidal filled in as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns.

This fight is Masvidal’s first since his loss to Usman at UFC 251. Usman had a successful title defence against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. Usman opens as a slightly bigger favourite in the rematch.

Since joining the UFC in 2015 – betting against Usman has netted bettors nothing, as his only loss in his MMA career came back in 2011. We do not believe this is the time to bet against Usman.

Usman handled Masvidal – despite training to fight Gilbert Burns. His ability to change opponents on the fly and still dominate the majority of the fight is one of the reasons he ranks second (behind Jon Jones) on the Pound-for-Pound rankings.

We expect with the time to train and the crowd behind him, Usman will take care of business against Masvidal in the rematch.   

Pick: Kamaru Usman (1.26) to Retain the Welterweight Championship

Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas for the Women’s Strawweight Championship

Fighter 1Sports InteractionSports InteractionFighter 2
Rose Namajunas2.501.53Weili Zhang

In what could turn out to be the most exciting fight of the night, Zhang Weili goes for her second title defence while Rose Namajunas goes for a second time holding the Strawweight belt. The fighters are ranked one and two in the division, meaning we expect a tight and hard-fought contest.

This fight is the first between the two – however, they have faced their share of common opponents. Both fighters have wins against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade (although Namajunas is 1-1 against Andrade). 

Style-wise, these two have some similarities. Both hold high ranks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and can utilize a combination of leg strikes on opponents – making for a pretty even fight.

Because neither fighter holds a significant enough advantage in other areas, it is worth betting on the underdog – Namajunas – to regain the Strawweight Championship.     

Pick: Rose Namajunas (2.50) to Win the Strawweight Championship

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade for the Women’s Flyweight Championship

Fighter 1BodogBodogFighter 2
Valentina Shevchenko1.254.00Jessica Andrade

The third title fight of the night sees Valentina Shevchenko defending the Flyweight title against Jessica Andrade. Andrade spent her entire UFC career as a Strawweight before making her debut as a Flyweight – in a win against Katlyn Chookagian – back in October.

While Andrade looked impressive in a round one win against Chookagian and the UFC betting odds on her are undoubtedly attractive, we cannot bring ourselves to bet against Shevchenko.

Shevchenko is one of the greatest women’s fighters in the history of the UFC. She won the Flyweight belt back at UFC 231 (in December 2018) and defended successfully four times since – including an impressive win by unanimous decision at UFC 255. With every win, she etches her name in the record books and inches closer to history. We are not betting against her talent and chance at history at UFC 255.

Pick: Valentina Shevchenko (1.20) to Retain the Flyweight Championship  

Chris Weidman vs. Uriah Hall  

Fighter 1BetwayBetwayFighter 2
Chris Weidman1.901.83Uriah Hall

Helping make this one of the most exciting main cards in reason memory is an excellent matchup between Middleweights Uriah Hall (ninth-ranked) and Chris Weidman (eleventh-ranked). These two fought once before – OVER TEN YEARS AGO – back in Ring of Combat. This fight was initially scheduled for UFC 258, but Weidman could not fight because of a positive test result.

This fight is about as evenly matched as you will ever see on the main card – as these guys are the same age, land approximately the same number of strikes, and defend strikes and takedowns at nearly the same rate.

Since this is such a close fight, we are going a little outside the box to make our betting. After checking the odds on the best UFC sportsbooks, we found that Betway has Chris Weidman as the slightest of underdogs.

As an underdog in his UFC career, Weidman is 3-1 – a great and profitable win rate (if you bet on him as an underdog). Weidman also won his last fight – after a terrible stretch of 1-6 from 2015 to 2019.    

Pick: Chris Weidman (1.90) to Win the Fight   

Also, when the prop betting markets open on this fight, betting on this fight ending in a decision is a great bet.

Where to Bet on UFC 261

Find the best online sportsbooks to bet on UFC 261 below. New users joining through the links underneath can get a welcome bonus, which they can use to bet on UFC 261!

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