The UFC will finally head back to packed arenas as UFC 261 is set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida on April 24. The UFC announced that it had sold out the stadium within a matter of minutes and it comes as no surprise as this will be the first UFC pay-per-view event in over a year that is being held on U.S soil with fans in attendance.
The UFC has put together a phenomenal card to announce its return to full stadiums in the U.S. There will be as many as three title fights on this card and MMA fans are in for some fireworks.
Our MMA experts breakdown the three title fights, look at the betting odds that Bet365 has on them and share their predictions as to who you should put your money on. If you are looking to bet on UFC events, you can do so at any of the following betting sites listed below.
Do note that while our MMA experts share their predictions, please use your own discretion when it comes to any form of betting.
Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2
The UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman defended his belt successfully on Feb 14, 2021 when he finished Gilbert Burns. The champ surprised a lot of people when he called out Jorge Masvidal for his next challenge. MMA fans were surprised because Usman fought Masvidal in July 2020 and had a unanimous decision victory over Masvidal.
Masvidal took this title fight on 5 days notice when Gilbert Burns had to pull out due to COVID-19. Masvidal claimed a tough weight cut took its toll on his performance in the Octagon and he threw a bit of flak at Usman for not being able to finish a fighter who took the fight on 5 days notice.
Usman claims that he wants to silence Masvidal once and for all now that he has had a full training camp. Hardcore MMA fans also know that one of the reasons why Usman wants to fight Masvidal again is because fans tune into watch Masvidal fight and it sells pay-per-views which gets Usman more money at the end of the day.
Bookmakers have Usman as the clear favorite once again with odds of 1.22 to Masvidal’s 4.50. We believe that Masvidal will once again struggle against Usman’s wrestling and come up short.
Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas
Weili Zhang will defend her strawweight championship against former champ Rose Namajunas. Zhang is as tough as they come and sportsbooks have her as the favorite with odds of 1.53 while Rose is the underdog with odds of 2.62.
This could turn out be an interesting fight as Rose is the taller fighter, has great reach and has improved her boxing a lot. Rose says that her plan is to punch Zhang in her face, get her to the ground, take her back and choke her out. The game plan is simple but will Rose be able to execute it. This is going to be a close fight and if it goes to the judges, Rose might come out with the win!
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade
Valentina Shevchenko is considered the second most dominant fighter after Amanda Nunes. She is the heavy betting favorite with odds of 1.25 and Andrade is a huge underdog with odds of 4.50.
Shevchenko has faced power punchers and knows that she needs to be careful of Andrade’s power. Shevchenko may choose to stand and strike for a few rounds but will also look to take Andrade down and finish her. Our experts don’t think that this fight will go the distance and back Valentina Shevchenko to win.
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