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UFC: Usman vs Masvidal Odds Analysis

Usman vs Masvidal Odds Analysis

With UFC 249 on the horizon, the projected main event between Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson may be dead in the water with Nurmagomedov currently on lockdown in Russia and the event likely taking place in the United States. The lightweight belt may not be defended if Khabib can’t make it back to America, but perhaps the welterweight strap could be on the line.

With all signs pointing to UFC 249 taking place in Florida, it just so happens that the current welterweight champ, Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, and the No. 1 contender and BMF titleholder, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, are also based in Florida. The two have exchanged jabs on social media, both saying they would fight on April 18. It was expected they would be headlining the International Fight Week card in July, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

This welterweight championship fight has yet to be announced, but online sportsbook Bovada has already released a line and the current champ, Usman, is a -260 favorite with the challenger, Masvidal, coming back at +200.

What are the Odds for Usman vs Masvidal?

Being an underdog is nothing new for Jorge Masvidal, who has closed as such in five of his last six bouts. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Nightmare has been favored in all but one of his 11 UFC fights, closing as a ‘dog only to Tyron Woodley when the two fought at UFC 235 for the welterweight strap. The odds for both of these fighters make a lot of sense and are set correctly, in my opinion.

Masvidal has had a meteoric rise over the last year with his flying knee knockout over Ben Askren and headlining at Madison Square Garden where he won the first-ever – and perhaps only – BMF title fight vs Nate Diaz. As for Usman, he continued his rise through the ranks, finally getting his title shot with Woodley and dominating for 25 minutes to win the belt. He then defended his gold against the self-proclaimed “People’s Champ,” Colby Covington, at UFC 245 with a fifth-round knockout.

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Kamaru Usman-260
Jorge Masvidal+200

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

How Will This Fight Play Out?

I expect Usman to try to stand and trade with Masvidal in the early stages of the fight as I’m sure he’s brimming with confidence following his late-fight finish of Covington at UFC 245. Gamebred should have the tactical and speed advantage in these striking exchanges, which will lead to the Nigerian Nightmare searching for a takedown.

I believe this is where the fight will be won or lost. Usman averages 3.44 takedowns per 15 minutes and has exceptional conditioning that allows him to wrestle for the full 25 minutes of a five-round championship bout. However, Masvidal stuffs 78 percent of takedown attempts and is extremely good at scrambling and getting out of danger on the floor. He has only been taken down five times over his last seven bouts.

Which Fighter has the Most Betting Value?

Obviously, betting on the underdog will give you the best bang for your buck. In this case, though, I’m not sure Masvidal is the best man to wager on. If he’s unable to stuff Usman’s takedown attempts, he will be swarmed for the length of the fight and lose a lopsided decision. Additionally, if the champion’s striking continues to improve and evolve, he may actually have an edge on the feet as well. Betting on a -260 favorite can be a tough pill to swallow for some, but it might be the better value.