This weekend we have some fantastic MMA fight action to look forward to as UFC 261 takes place, this time in front of a paying crowd in Jacksonville, Florida.
In a packed card, featuring some cracking bouts, the top of the bill sees Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight world title once again against the man he beat nine months ago, Jorge Masvidal.
When the two last met, it was a last-minute notice fight for Masvidal who stepped in for Gilbert Burns to face the Champion. He put up a good fight, his durability once again on show as he took Usman the distance, only to lose on all the judges scorecards.
Since then Usman has shown great resolve in his next fight, a win against the aforementioned Gilbert Burns achieved despite being rocked early on in that bout. The Nigerian Nightmare is now 13-0 in the UFC and has successfully defended his title three times.
He is now just three wins short of tying Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive victories in the Octagon.
Profile: Kamaru Usman
After suffering a defeat in his second fight against Jose Cacares, Kamara Usman
has been undefeated and his 13-0 record in the UFC is bettered only by Anderson Silva who managed 16 victories before tasting defeat.
After earning the belt with a unanimous decision over Tyron Woodley in March 2019, he has defended it since against Colby Covington (a TKO win in December 2019), Jorge Masvidal (decision in July 2020) and Gilbert Burns (TKO in February 2021).
Usman is certainly one of the most active champions in the UFC and the fact that this will be his third fight in nine months is testament to his fitness levels and self-belief. Rated #2 in the pound for pound rankings, Usman is one of the top stars in the UFC.
Profile: Jorge Masvidal
Holder of the fastest knockout in UFC history with his five second demolition of Ben Askren in July 2019, Masvidal bracketed that stunning win with wins over Darren Till and Nate Diaz to move himself back up the Welterweight rankings.
When Gilbert Burns could not face Usman in July 2020 due to a positive Covid-19 test, Masvidal stepped in to fight Usman but found the going tough as the champion negated his punching power and held him in clinches to land what was a comfortable points win.
Masvidal is adamant that he has learned from the mistakes he made in the last fight and feels that this time around he knows what it takes to beat Usman. That will be some task to undertake against the man many feel is the best fighter currently active in the UFC right now.
What Are The Odds On The Fight?
A quick look at the odds available on the fight from UniBet Sportsbook reveals that the champion is the hot favourite to win the bout. They currently have Usman as the -400 favorite to land the win, with Masvidal +300 to land the upset.
Those odds are pretty much the same on other sports betting sites too, which goes to show just how much the bookmakers are favoring the current champion.
Who Do We Think Will Win And How?
Masvidal may have talked up his chances in this fight, but in truth, I think he is very much the underdog here and it is hard to see anything but another win for Usman. Masvidal’s durability is such that I can’t see the Nigerian Nightmare landing the knockout blow, but I think what we will see is technical excellence from Usman and him winning by another unanimous decision.
- Usman to win -400
- To Go The Distance – Yes -167
- Total Rounds – Over 4.5 -190
- Usman to win by a decision -134