While it is certainly possible to have a great fight card without a title bout added on, it does help when two fighters enter the octagon with the belt on the line. If that is the kind of action you like, then you better be ready for UFC 261, as this event has 3 title fights listed on the main card. Besides those bouts, there are a couple more fights added on to take the main card to a total of 5 bouts. It’s time now to look ahead to Saturday night and begin to break those 5 fights down, with UFC odds and predictions attached for each.
UFC 261 Betting Preview | Usman Vs Masvidal 2
Anthony Smith (+160) Vs Jimmy Crute (-200)
The opening fight on the main card is a Light Heavyweight bout that has the possibility of delivering some serious fireworks. Smith has been around for a while and has posted a 34-16 record in that time. He has lost 3 of his last 5 and really needs a win here. After winning the first 10 fights of his pro career, Crute took his first loss before winning the next two ahead of this one. I think we will see some fists flying here, but I like Crute to get the KO win.
Chris Weidman (-125) Vs Uriah Hall (-105)
This Middleweight bout is billed as a rematch, and while it is indeed that, it is worth remembering that the first meeting was 11 years ago. It was Weidman who won that in the Ring of Combat as part of a 13-fight unbeaten streak. Since then, though, he has gone just 2-5. Hall has had a similar type of run recently, but he appears to have snapped out of it and is on a 3-fight win streak. I am on hall to keep that streak alive with a KO win.
Valentina Shevchenko (-450) Vs Jessica Andrade (+325)
The first title fight of the night is a women’s Flyweight bout that will se Shevchenko try to defend her title. Shevchenko is 20-3 and is coming into this bout on a 6-fight winning streak. During that run, she finished half of those fights inside the distance. While Andrade is 21-8, she is not in the best run of form coming into this fight, having lost 2 of her last 3 fights. I don’t think Shevchenko will have too much trouble defending her title.
Weili Zhang (-210) Vs Rose Namajunas (+170)
The co-main event of the night is a Strawweight title fight that will see Zhang look to defend her title. Through 22 fights in her pro career, Zhang has taken just 1 loss, with that one coming in her first professional fight. Namajunas has spent the last couple of years fighting the very best fighters that are on offer in the division, so she has earned her right at this title shot. This should be a great fight and I have Zhang holding onto the belt.
Kamaru Usman (-440) Vs Jorge Masvidal (+340)
The headline event of the night is a Welterweight title fight that is also a rematch between two great fighters. Usman started his career at 1-1, but he has been unstoppable since then, winning 17 fights in a row. Masvidal is 35-14 and is looking to get revenge for the unanimous decision loss to Usman in his last bout. That defeat ended a 3-fight win streak that saw him win all 3 inside the distance. I think this one goes all 5 rounds, with Usman getting the decision.