UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal Predictions, Odds & Picks

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal

  • The UFC returns to Florida with a live audience in attendance to put on a rare spectacle of a card that include three title fights
  • Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman rematches against rival Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 261 this Saturday night
  • Women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili and women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko both defend their titles against former champions in Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade

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UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal Odds

Fighter Odds
Kamaru Usman -400
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Jorge Masvidal +300
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Fighter Odds
Zhang Weili -195
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Rose Namajunas +155
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Fighter Odds
Valentina Shevchenko -400
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Jessica Andrade +300
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Fighter Odds
Uriah Hall -115
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Chris Weidman -108
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Fighter Odds
Anthony Smith +155
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Jimmy Crute -200
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UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II – Picks & Predictions

(C) Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal – Welterweight Championship

Kamaru Usman (-400)

(C) Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas – Women’s Strawweight Championship

Zhang Weili (-195)

(C) Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade – Women’s Flyweight Championship

Valentina Shevchenko (-400)

Uriah Hall vs Chris Weidman – Middleweight Division

Uriah Hall (-115)

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute – Light Heavyweight Division

Jimmy Crute (-200)

How to Watch UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II Information
What UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II
Where VyStar Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
When Saturday, April 24, 10 PM EST
How to watch UFC Fight Pass, pay-per-view, Watch on ESPN+ here!

(C) Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal – Welterweight championship

Kamaru Usman TALE OF THE TAPE Jorge Masvidal
33 Age 36
6 ft. Height 5 ft. 11 in.
76 in. Reach 74 in.
18-1 Record 35-14

(C) Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman

The UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is currently riding a 17-fight winning streak that started all the way back in 2013. He joined the UFC in 2015 with a 5-1 record and hasn’t looked back. He has remained undefeated in the UFC, captured the welterweight title, defended it three times, and set the record for the most consecutive wins in the UFC welterweight division with thirteen. Kamaru Usman is very good.

Usman has already defended his title once this year, taking on Gilbert Burns this past February at UFC 258. Usman dominated Burns after being rocked early and defeated the Brazilian via third-round TKO, taking home performance of the night bonus as well.

Prior to that win, Usman had earned a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal last summer at UFC 251. The story there was that Masvidal took the fight on six-day notice and still went the distance. Usman has been adamant that he will make a statement and finish Masvidal emphatically this Saturday night.

The Nigerian fighter currently trains out of Florida with coaches Jorge Santiago and Trevor Wittman and has recently moved his camps to the Onyx Sports gym. Fighting since 2012, Usman boasts NCAA division II wrestling credentials as well as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Jorge Santiago. He is also the winner of the Ultimate Fighter season 21 tournament.

Considered a serious contender for Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight GOAT status, Kamaru Usman currently finds himself ranked as the number-two men’s pound-for-pound best fighter.

Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal

Unlike the champion, Jorge Masvidal has not fought since the last time they met in the octagon on July 12 at UFC 251. Masvidal stepped in on six days’ notice to replace a sick Gilbert Burns and it was reported that Masvidal had to cut upwards of 20-pounds for the fight. He has made it clear that he feels with a full training camp, he could dethrone the champion.

Prior to his loss to Usman, Masvidal was riding a three-fight winning streak that saw him come from behind to knock out Darren Till, earn the fastest knockout in UFC history against Ben Askren, and be declared the BMF with a TKO victory over Nate Diaz. All those fights took place within one calendar year.

Born in Florida, Masvidal continues to train in his home state with American Top Team. He has been fighting professionally since 2003 after gaining notoriety in the same street fighting circle as the infamous Kimbo Slice.

Masvidal will have a two-inch reach disadvantage and will be at a significant advantage when it comes to wrestling. At the time of writing, he is ranked as the fourth-best welterweight in the division.

(C) Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas – Women’s Strawweight Championship

Zhang Weili TALE OF THE TAPE Rose Namajunas
31 Age 28
5 ft. 4 in. Height 5 ft. 5 in.
63 in. Reach 65 in.
21-1 Record 9-4

(C) Zhang “Magnum” Weili

Since losing her professional MMA debut back in 2013, women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili has gone on to win 21 straight fights, including defeating Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title and defending it against arguably the greatest female strawweight, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, in what was named Fight of the Night the 2020 fight-of-the-year.

That last fight against Jedrzejczyk took place last March at UFC 248. In a wild back-and-forth battle, it was Weili who was awarded the split-decision victory.

The Chinese-fighter trains out of Beijing with coaches Xuejun Cai and Pedro Jordao and the Black Tiger Fight Club. Under Jordao, Weili holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Fighting since 2013, she is a former KLF strawweight champion and is the first Chinese and East Asian fighter to hold gold in the UFC. She is currently ranked as the third-best pound-for-pound women’s fighter.

“Thug” Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas shocked the world when she defeated strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk by first-round TKO to capture the strawweight title in 2017. The two had an immediate rematch in 2018 and Namajunas cemented her place atop the division by once again defeating Jedrzejczyk – this time via unanimous decision.

In her first title defense bout, Namajunas was brutally slammed on her head by Jessica Andrade and knocked out. After Andrade followed suit and dropped the title to Weili in her first defense, she and Namajunas would rematch, with Namajunas being declared the winner by split-decision. This was Thug Rose’s most recent octagon appearance (July 2020).

Although Namajunas has a longer reach and stands taller than the champion, she has admitted that fighting has weighed on her mentally and it is uncertain what kind of competitor will step into the octagon Saturday night. Namajunas trains with husband and former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry and striking coach Trevor Wittman at the 303 Training Center. She holds black belts in taekwondo and karate as well as a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Tony Basile. She has been fighting since 2010 and is ranked as the number-one strawweight contender.

(C) Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade – Women’s Flyweight Championship

Valentina Shevchenko TALE OF THE TAPE Jessica Andrade
33 Age 29
5 ft. 5 in. Height 5 ft. 1.5 in.
66.5 in. Reach 62 in.
20-3 Record 21-8

(C) Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko

Since the UFC opened the women’s flyweight division, Valentina Shevchenko has not looked back. Formerly forced to fight at bantamweight, Shevchenko would win the inaugural women’s flyweight title and she has looked unbeatable ever since, as she is currently riding a six-fight winning streak.

She has defended her title four times, earning two knockout wins and two unanimous decision wins in that time. Her most recent title defense came in the form of a decision win against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 last November. Her other title defenses include wins over Katlyn Chookagian, Liz Carmouche, and Jessica Eye.

Born in Kyrgyzstan, Shevchenko spends much of her time training in Thailand with Tiger Muay Thai and coach Pavel Fedotov. Fighting since 2000, the southpaw fighter holds a master of sports in boxing, kickboxing, judo, and taekwondo, an international master of sports in muay thai, a black belt in judo, and a second-dan black belt in taekwondo. She also holds a professional kickboxing record of 57-2. She is currently ranked as the second-best pound-for-pound women’s fighter in the UFC behind only double-champ Amanda Nunes.

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade

Jessica Eye is a former strawweight champion, as she won the belt from Rose Namajunas in 2019. But after losing her belt to Zhang Weili and a subsequent rematch against Namajunas, Andrade decided to change things and make the move up to the flyweight division.

She debuted at flyweight last October and immediately made an impact – defeating former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian by first-round TKO, earning her a performance of the night bonus. The dominant victory (along with the lack of top-contender for champion Shevchenko) was enough for Andrade to secure her third UFC title shot.

The Brazilian fighter will have significant disadvantages Saturday night, namely in the forms of a 3.5-inch height and 4.5-inch reach disadvantages. Fighting since 2011, Andrade trains with Parana Vale Tudo and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Gilliard Parana. Her jiu-jitsu is the only advantage against the champion. At the time of this writing, Andrade is ranked as the number-one flyweight contender in the UFC as well as the number-five pound-for-pound women’s fighter in the promotion.

Uriah Hall vs Chris Weidman – Middleweight Division

Uriah Hall TALE OF THE TAPE Chris Weidman
36 Age 36
6 ft. Height 6 ft. 2 in.
79.5 in. Reach 78 in.
16-9 Record 15-5

Uriah “Prime Time” Hall

Uriah Hall is coming into his fight against Saturday night riding a three-fight winning streak and is hoping to take out his second former -middleweight champion in a row.

After back-to-back wins over Bevon Lewis and Antonio Carlos Junior (the latter of which was a knockout), Uriah Hall was matched up with middleweight GOAT Anderson Silva last Halloween. The two headlined a Fight Night card and fought three hard rounds before Hall secured the TKO victory in the fourth. It marked his third win in a row since his TKO loss to Paulo Costa in 2018.

Born in Jamaica, Uriah Hall spent much of his fighting career training with Xtreme Couture before joining the Fortis MMA team in 2019. Predominantly a striker, Hall holds a second-degree black belt in Kyokushin karate under Tiger Schulman’s mixed martial arts. He also holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Jason Manly. Hall has been fighting professionally since 2005 and currently sits inside the top-10 of the division at number nine.

Chris “The All-American” Weidman

Chris Weidman was undefeated at 10-0 when he beat middleweight legend, Anderson Silva, for the middleweight title. He defended the strap three times until dropping it to Luke Rockhold. He hasn’t looked the same since.

After losing to Rockhold, he would lose twice more before securing a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum. Following that win, however, Weidman would lose twice more, both by vicious knockouts – one of them coming against Dominick Reyes in a one-and-done trip up to the light heavyweight division. His most recent bout took place last August against Omari Akhmedov. Weidman was able to secure a unanimous decision victory over his opponent.

Chris Weidman has many accolades to his name, including NCAA Division I wrestling credentials and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie. But he has also been the victim of several injuries over the past few years. Currently, he trains out of Long Island with the Longo-Serra Fight Team. He sits just outside the top-10 of the division at number eleven.

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute – Light Heavyweight Division

Anthony Smith TALE OF THE TAPE Jimmy Crute
32 Age 25
6 ft. 4 in. Height 6 ft. 2 in.
76 in. Reach 72.5 in.
34-16 Record 12-1

Anthony “Lionheart” Smith

Like Chris Weidman, former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith is heading into Saturday night’s fight coming off of a much-needed win. Smith had been riding a two-fight losing streak with one of those losses coming at the hands of Glover Teixeira last May. In one of the most lopsided fights of the year, Teixeira brutalized Smith for four rounds before securing the TKO victory in the fifth. Smith would then drop a unanimous decision to Aleksandar rakic last August.

Smith turned things around in his third and final fight of 2020, however, when he took on Devin Clark last November and submitted him with a triangle choke in the first round, earning him a performance of the night bonus.

Anthony Smith will enter the cage Saturday night standing two inches taller than his opponent and having a 3.5-inch reach advantage. The Texas native trains out of Nebraska with coach Marc Montoya and the Factory X gym .He has been fighting professionally since 2008 and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He enters Saturday night’s contest ranked as the sixth-best light heavyweight in the promotion.

Jimmy “The Brute” Crute

After a loss to Misha Cirkunov at the end of 2019, Jimmy Crute went on to have an undefeated 2020 year. Last February he defeated Michal Oleksiejczuk via first-round submission. He followed that up with a first-round knockout over Modestas Bukauskas. Both wins earned him performance of the night bonuses.

Crute will be at a height and reach a disadvantage in this fight against Smith but he is seven years younger than his opponent and has taken significantly less damage over the course of his career. The Australian trains with coach Sam Greco and works out with Stewie’s House of BJJ as well as with the Resilience Training Center. He has been fighting since 2016 and, like his opponent, holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is a former Hex Fight Series champion and is ranked as number-13 in the UFC light heavyweight division.

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Ryan Bristlon

Expert on UFC

Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.



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