UFC 261 Betting Preview, Odds & Picks: Three Title Fights on Tap

Louis Saulnier

This weekend’s UFC card will feature something that we’ve only seen a handful of times in the history of the promotion; three title fights.

The main event will feature a rematch for the Welterweight title between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. The other two title fights feature the women’s weight classes as Valentina Shevchenko will try to defend her flyweight title against Jessica Andrade while Weili Zhang will take on former champion Rose Namajunas for the strawweight belt in the co-main event.

UFC 261 Event Details:

  • Event: UFC 261
  • Date: Saturday, April 24th, 2021
  • Time: Early Prelims (6 pm ET), Prelims (8 pm ET), Main Card (10 pm ET)
  • Venue: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida

All odds listed are per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Betting Preview

Despite losing all five rounds against Kamaru Usman when the two fighters met in the octagon last summer, Jorge Masvidal has managed to secure himself a rematch with the Nigerian champion despite not competing since the defeat. Usman out struck Masvidal in the first fight 263-88 as well as 94-66 when looking at strictly significant strikes. Usman also secured five takedowns and had control for 16 minutes and 38 seconds of the contest.

Masvidal believers will cite the fact that he had a short training camp ahead of their first fight but many fight fans would claim that this is just a terrible stylistic matchup for “Gamebred”. He closed as a +190 underdog in the original bout.

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Odds & Best Bets

Kamaru Usman:

  • Moneyline: -390
  • KO/TKO: +280
  • Points: -120
  • Submission: +1600

Jorge Masvidal:

  • Moneyline: +310
  • KO/TKO: +440
  • Points: +1500
  • Submission: +2300

Find more betting markets at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Best Bet: Kamaru Usman via KO/TKO +280

Nobody wants to eat the juice on a -400 favorite unless you’re a high roller, so why not get a little bit aggressive? The first fight ended in a decision but make no mistake about it, Kamaru Usman can put opponents away. Look no further than his most recent victory which came via TKO against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 in February. In fact, eight of his eighteen wins as a professional have come via strikes. That means we’re getting fantastic value at +280 for him to win in this fashion on Saturday night.

Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas Betting Preview

The former champion of the strawweight division will try to reclaim her title when she faces current champion Weili Zhang. Zhang is coming off of arguably the greatest female fight in the history of the promotion back in March of 2020 when she won a split decision against Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Zhang has won 21-straight fights with the only loss of her professional career coming in her very first bout in the Chinese MMA League. She’s 5-0 in her UFC career with two of those five wins coming via finish.

Namajunas, who has fought just one time each year dating back to 2018, avenged her loss against Jessica Andrade last summer when she defeated her via split decision. She’ll be looking to reclaim her belt which she lost to Andrade in May of 2019. Namajunas is 2-0 in her UFC career when set as the betting underdog.

Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas Odds & Best Bets

Weili Zhang:

  • Moneyline: -210
  • KO/TKO: +260
  • Points: +155
  • Submission: +1300

Rose Namajunas:

  • Moneyline: +176
  • KO/TKO: +650
  • Points: +500
  • Submission: +700

Find more betting markets at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Best Bet: Fight will NOT go the distance -106

Both women have been known to finish fights through their UFC careers, especially in their recent bouts. While Zhang’s latest fight against Jędrzejczyk went to decision, it’s a miracle that the fight wasn’t stopped as both women were rocked multiple times and Jędrzejczyk had a hematoma on her forehead the size of a baseball. Zhang has the ability to finish the fight on her feet as well as on the ground as she secured a submission victory over Jessica Aguilar back in 2018.

Rose Namajunas has also been known to be involved in fights that ended via stoppage. Three of her last five fights inside the octagon were decided before the final bell including an impressive TKO win over Zhang’s last opponent, Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Weili Zhang averages an astounding 6.38 significant strikes per minute while Namajunas averages a solid 4.13 significant strikes per minute so you can be assured these ladies will throw down on Saturday night.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade Betting Preview

Valentina Shevchenko will try to defend her flyweight title for the fifth time when she takes on former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade and she’s set as a heavy favorite to do just that. Shevchenko has yet to lose to any opponent in the UFC not named Amanda Nunes and she enters Saturday night on a six-fight win streak.

Jessica Andrade, after losing two straight fights in the strawweight division including a title fight loss to Weili Zhang, moved up a weight class to 125 lbs where she had an impressive debut by defeating Katlyn Chookagian via 1st round TKO. Now she has the opportunity to become one of the few people in UFC history to be a champion in two separate weight classes. She’s 2-1 in her UFC career when set as the betting underdog.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade Odds & Best Bets

Valentina Shevchenko:

  • Moneyline: -390
  • KO/TKO: +200
  • Points: +155
  • Submission: +600

Jessica Andrade:

  • Moneyline: +310
  • KO/TKO: +600
  • Points: +1000
  • Submission: +1200

Find more betting markets at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Best bet: Valentina Shevchenko via TKO +200

Shevchenko has proven herself to be one of the most violent women in the UFC as she has six KO/TKO victories in her UFC career including two in her last four fights. Now she’s facing an opponent in Jessica Andrade who has a less than stellar defense, avoiding just 53% of her opponent's strikes. Furthermore, Andrade has already been finished via strikes by Weili Zhang who is in a lower weight class and now she’s taking on an even harder, and bigger, striker in Valentina Shevchenko.

If you don’t want to lay the -400 juice, taking Shevchenko to finish the fight via strikes at +200 is the way to go.

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