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UFC 261 Odds & Predictions: Usman vs Masvidal 2 headlines three title fights

For the first time in over 13 months, the UFC is putting on a show with a SOLD-OUT CROWD! UFC 261 has three title fights on the card, headlined by the rematch of the Fight Island bout between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and BMF champion Jorge Masvidal.

The co-main event sees Valentina Shevchenko defending her women’s flyweight strap vs former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade, while Rose Namajunas looks to reclaim her strawweight belt against Zhang Weili in the third title fight.

Looking at UFC 261 odds, all three current champions are favored. In the UFC 261 main event odds, Usman is a larger favorite than he was when he fought Masvidal at UFC 251 last July. We have the full UFC 261 odds and predictions as well as a preview for each fight on the main card below.

After earning a unanimous-decision victory over Masvidal last July, Usman had an impressive knockout win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 in February. He’s hopping back in the cage just over two months later – will he earn the same result?

It may be a surprise to see Masvidal getting another title shot, having not had another fight since his decision loss to Usman at UFC 251. He felt compromised by a considerable weight cut after getting the first title fight on just six days’ notice and believes a full camp will end with his hand raised.

UFC 261 Odds: Usman vs Masvidal 2

Online sportsbook Bovada has released UFC 261 odds with Kamaru Usman listed as the -375 chalk and Jorge Masvidal coming back as a +285 underdog. This means you would have to wager $375 to profit $100 on an Usman victory while a $100 bet on a Masvidal win would profit you $285.

Looking at the UFC 261 odds for Usman vs Masvidal, our sports betting calculator tells us that Usman’s odds of -375 represent an implied win probability of 78.95 percent while Masvidal’s odds of +285 have an implied win probability of 25.97 percent.

The largest favorite in the UFC 261 odds is in the co-main event with champion Valentina Shevchenko favored at -500 over former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade, who is a +350 underdog.

The tightest UFC 261 betting odds are in the flyweight bout between Qileng Aori and Jeff Molina, set as a pick’em with both men holding -110 odds.

UFC 261 Betting Odds & Fight Card


UFC 261 Betting Odds & Fight Card
  • Main Card
  • Welterweight Championship – Kamaru Usman (-375) vs Jorge Masvidal (+285)
  • Women’s Strawweight Championship – Zhang Weili (-210) vs Rose Namajunas (+170)
  • Women’s Flyweight Championship – Valentina Shevchenko (-500) vs Jessica Andrade (+350)
  • Middleweight – Uriah Hall (+110) vs Chris Weidman (-130)
  • Light Heavyweight – Anthony Smith (+170) vs Jimmy Crute (-210)
  • Prelims
  • Welterweight – Alex Oliveira (+120) vs Randy Brown (-145)
  • Welterweight – Dwight Grant (-200) vs Stefan Sekulic (+160)
  • Middleweight – Karl Roberson (+135) vs Brendan Allen (-165)
  • Featherweight – Pat Sabatini (-265) vs Tristan Connelly (+210)
  • Bantamweight – Danaa Batgerel (-210) vs Kevin Nativdad (+170)
  • Lightweight – Rodrigo Vargas (+200) vs Zhu Rong (-250)
  • Flyweight – Qileng Aori (-110) vs Jeff Molina (-110)
  • Women’s Strawweight – Liang Na (+180) vs Ariana Carnelossi (-230)

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New to betting on the fights? Check out our How to Bet on the UFC guide to help you get in the action. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our UFC odds page for the latest up-to-date UFC 261 betting lines.


UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Broadcast Information
  • Date/Time: April 24, 6 p.m. ET
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Arena: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN, ESPN+, PPV

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Kamaru Usman-375
Jorge Masvidal+285

With Usman (-375) knocking out Burns in February, “The Nigerian Nightmare” is now on a 17-fight winning streak and is set for his fourth title defense. Masvidal (+285) had been on a three-fight winning streak, all stoppages, prior to his loss to Usman last July. This marks his first action since that defeat.


Usman: Need to Knows
  • Usman dropped his second pro fight but has won 17 straight since then. He won the championship in 2019 vs Tyron Woodley and is now making his fourth title defense.
  • With an 18-1 record, nine of Usman’s wins have been stoppages with eight knockouts and one submission. His lone defeat was a submission.
  • The Nigerian Nightmare has outstanding wrestling, averaging 3.22 takedowns per 15 minutes. If the champ doesn’t secure the takedown on his attempt, he will often force a clinch situation against the cage to wear on his opponents with body shots, foot stomps and shoulder pressure.
  • Continuing to improve their game after reaching the top is a sign of a great champion and that’s what we’re seeing with Usman. His striking, especially his powerful accurate jab, has drastically improved under coach Trevor Whitman.
  • Usman’s last three fights were Colby Covington (win – knockout), Jorge Masvidal (win – unanimous decision) and Gilbert Burns (win – knockout).


Masvidal: Need to Knows
  • This is Masvidal’s 20th UFC bout and his 50th pro fight overall. He holds a 35-14 record with 18 wins by stoppage (16 knockouts, two submissions). Among his 14 losses, 11 went to the judges’ scorecards and five of those were split decisions.
  • Gamebred is predominantly a striker, though he does average 1.57 takedowns per 15 minutes. On the feet, he averages 4.20 significant strikes while absorbing 3.00, making his opponents miss 65 percent of their strike attempts.
  • The BMF champion has excellent kicks from long range and crisp, straight punches in boxing range. His hand speed is impressive and he rarely overextends to put himself in a bad position.
  • When he can keep the fight standing, his tempo is very troubling for his opponents because at times he will have little activity, appearing almost as though he is catching his breath. Then all of a sudden he explodes forward with a powerful combination and if his opponents aren’t ready for it, they get caught.
  • Masvidal’s last three fights were Ben Askren (win – knockout), Nate Diaz (win – knockout) and Kamaru Usman (loss – unanimous decision).

For more on this fight, see my Usman vs Masvidal 2 odds analysis article.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman (-375) via decision

Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Zhang Weili-210
Rose Namajunas+170

We get to see Zhang “Magnum” Weili (-210) for the first time since her fight of the year match with Joanna Jedrzejczyk last March in her first title defense. She looks to put on another performance against another former champion in Rose “Thug” Namajunas (+170), who returned to the win column last July, avenging her title loss to Jessica Andrade 14 months prior.


Weili: Need to Knows
  • It has been a fast rise for the champion, who made her UFC debut less than three years ago. Although this is her second title defense, it’s just her sixth bout in the promotion.
  • Within her 21-1 record, 17 of those victories are stoppages (10 knockouts, seven submissions). Her lone defeat was a controversial decision in her pro debut in 2013.
  • Magnum has great top control when she secures a takedown and although she only succeeds on 23 percent of her attempts, she still averages 1.26 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • Primarily, though, Weili prefers the fight to stay standing. She averages 6.38 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.43. She has great power in her hands and she bullies her opponents by walking forward and when she gets in the pocket, she holds her ground and throws straight, strong pitches.
  • Weili’s last three fights were Tecia Torres (win – unanimous decision), Jessica Andrade (win – knockout) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (win – split decision).


Namajunas: Need to Knows
  • Thug Rose shocked the world as a +500 underdog to win the title with a first-round knockout win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217. She lost in her second title defense and took a year off before returning last July.
  • She began her career as primarily a wrestler, averaging 1.91 takedowns per 15 minutes, and her first four pro wins were submissions. Six of her nine pro wins have been stoppages, with one knockout and five submissions.
  • Her striking has come a long way over her career and she’s got great footwork and head movement, making her opponents miss 60 percent of their strikes. Additionally, she does a great job throwing straight punches that have good power but much better accuracy.
  • Namajunas’ last three fights were Joanna Jedrzejczyk (win – unanimous decision), Jessica Andrade (loss – knockout) and Jessica Andrade (win – split decision).

For more on this fight, see my Weili vs Namajunas odds analysis article.

Prediction: Rose Namajunas (+170) via decision

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Valentina Shevchenko-500
Jessica Andrade+350

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade (+350) lost her women’s strawweight title bout to Zhang Weili in August 2019 and her subsequent fight against Rose Namajunas in July 2020 before jumping to flyweight and making an immediate impact in earning a title shot. This is the fifth title defense for Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (-500) as she looks to extend a six-fight winning streak.


Shevchenko: Need to Knows
  • Since the UFC opened the women’s flyweight division, Shevchenko has been absolutely unstoppable. She began her UFC career at bantamweight, going 3-2 with her two defeats being close decisions to Amanda Nunes. She’s 6-0 at flyweight.
  • Overall, Bullet holds a 20-3 record with 13 of her 20 wins coming by stoppage (six knockouts, seven submissions). She was stopped once via knockout by Liz Carmouche in 2010, a loss she avenged in her second title defense.
  • Shevchenko is probably the most well-rounded women’s MMA fighter of all time. She has an outstanding fight IQ and a killer instinct and can win the fight on the feet or in a grappling battle.
  • She typically plants her feet and slowly inches into range, reading her opponents’ movements and countering when they move forward while sticking to straight punches or kicks for her offense at long range. Bullet also averages 2.21 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • Shevchenko’s last three fights were Liz Carmouche (win – unanimous decision), Katlyn Chookagian (win – knockout) and Jennifer Maia (win – unanimous decision).


Andrade: Need to Knows
  • After back-to-back losses at strawweight, Andrade made short work of Katlyn Chookagian in her flyweight debut, stopping her in the first round. With that, Bate Estaca became the first woman to win fights in three different weight classes.
  • The former strawweight champion holds a 21-8 record with 15 of her pro wins being stoppages (eight knockouts, seven submissions). Five of her eight losses have also been finishes, with three knockouts and two submissions.
  • Andrade is a bulldog, averaging 6.38 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 5.26, and she also adds in 3.11 takedowns per 15 minutes. I say takedowns, but in many cases they are slams, as she did to Rose Namajunas to win the strawweight belt with a slam knockout.
  • She has all-out forward pressure, though at times she forgets to move her head, which can result in her absorbing plenty of punches. Additionally, she has good power in her strikes but tends to rely mostly on hooks, which is not a great approach when you’re at a four-inch reach disadvantage.
  • Andrade’s last three fights were Zhang Weili (loss – knockout), Rose Namajunas (loss – split decision) and Katlyn Chookagian (win – knockout).

For more on this fight, see my Shevchenko vs Andrade odds analysis article.

Predictions: Valentina Shevchenko (-500) via knockout

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Uriah Hall vs Chris Weidman Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Uriah Hall-130
Chris Weidman+110

This is a rematch nearly 11 years in the making between two staples in the middleweight division. Chris “The All-American” Weidman (-130) earned a first-round knockout win over Uriah “Primetime” Hall (+110) on September 24, 2010, in Ring of Combat. Hall has won his last three fights, while Weidman won his last bout. The timing couldn’t be better for the second battle for these men.


Hall: Need to Knows
  • Hall gained a lot of attention with his ferocious knockouts in his The Ultimate Fighter appearance that saw him lose in the finals to Kelvin Gastelum. He has struggled to find his footing in the Octagon, though, going 9-6 since the show.
  • Overall, Primetime holds a 16-9 record with 13 of his pro wins being stoppages (12 knockouts, one submission). Four of his nine losses are also knockouts.
  • He does a good job throwing straight punches and is impressive when he’s moving forward. However, when he’s under pressure, he tends to just absorb shots or try to dodge them with head movement. But as he’s gotten older, that head movement has slowed.
  • Takedown defense has also been an issue and this will certainly be tested by Weidman. Hall stuffs just 69 percent of takedown attempts and has been taken down at least once in eight of his 16 UFC bouts.
  • Hall’s last three fights were Bevon Lewis (win – knockout), Antonio Carlos Junior (win – split decision) and Anderson Silva (win – knockout).


Weidman: Need to Knows
  • After winning the title and defending it three times, Weidman completely hit a wall, losing five of seven fights, but he is coming off a victory last August.
  • Those five losses during that rough stretch are the only five on Weidman’s record. He is 15-5 and all five of his losses have been knockouts, while 10 of his 15 wins are stoppages (six knockouts, four submissions).
  • It’s hard to earn the moniker The All-American without having some wrestling chops and that’s exactly what you get with Weidman. He averages 3.93 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed at least one takedown in all 16 of his UFC bouts.
  • He makes it a point to take the center of the Octagon because it’s easier to shoot for a takedown moving forward than off your back foot. This will be important against Hall, who provides little resistance when being backed up.
  • Weidman’s last three fights were Jacare Souza (loss – knockout), Dominick Reyes (loss – knockout) and Omari Akhmedov (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Chris Weidman (-130) via decision

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Anthony Smith+170
Jimmy Crute-210

The always-active Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (+170) is set to make his fourth walk to the Octagon in just under a year and with a win will even his record over that span. Meanwhile, Jimmy “The Brute” Crute (-210) rebounded from his first-round loss in September 2019 to pick up back-to-back first-round stoppages in 2020.


Smith: Need to Knows
  • Since the start of 2018, Smith has been in nine fights, holding a 5-4 record over that span. This is the 51st pro fight for Lionheart, who is a career 34-16.
  • Of his 34 wins, 31 have been stoppages, with 18 knockouts and 13 submissions, while 13 of his 16 losses were also finishes (nine knockouts, four submissions).
  • He is a game fighter but only lands 2.94 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.38. Smith tends to throw just one strike at a time and really tends to close the distance before throwing a strike. He doesn’t set up those strikes either.
  • That said, he will always come forward and if he lands, he can do big damage. Furthermore, he is strong on the floor with good submission skills, which is evident in his record.
  • Smith’s last three fights were Glover Teixeira (loss – knockout), Aleksandar Rakic (loss – unanimous decision) and Devin Clark (win – submission).


Crute: Need to Knows
  • Prior to Crute’s first loss in September 2019, he had a perfect 10-0 record with seven stoppages. In fact, the Brute holds a 12-1 record with nine wins by stoppage (five knockouts, four submissions).
  • He has outstruck all but one of his UFC opponents, averaging 4.36 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 2.31. Additionally, he averages 4.33 takedowns per 15 minutes, securing 75 percent of those attempts.
  • On the feet, he tends to hold his ground and counter when his opponents engage with him. If they throw a kick, he’s quick to shoot for a takedown off it and he is extremely strong when he gets his hands on you.
  • When Crute goes on the attack, he moves forward with powerful kicks and punches, but when he gets the fight on the floor, he’s aggressive in searching for a submission.
  • Crute’s last three fights were Misha Cirkunov (loss – submission), Michal Oleksiejczuk (win – submission) and Modestas Bukauskas (win – knockout).

Prediction: Jimmy Crute (-210) via knockout

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Best Bets

FighterOdds
Welterweight Championship – Kamaru Usman-375
Women’s Flyweight Championship – Valentina Shevchenko-500
Women’s Strawweight Championship – Rose Namajunas+170
Middleweight – Chris Weidman-130
Light Heavyweight – Jimmy Crute-210