The first event on the fabled Fight Island in Abu Dhabi was UFC 251, headlined by the welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. The champion, Usman, defended his title by unanimous decision but Masvidal took the fight on less than a week’s notice.
The two are set to run it back in the first event to have a full crowd in attendance since the coronavirus pandemic began. UFC 261 is scheduled for April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. In the Usman vs Masvidal odds, the champion is a big betting favorite.
This bout is the main event following two other title fights: Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade for the flyweight title and Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas in the strawweight championship co-main event.
Online sportsbook [ol-sportsbook-bp:48:Bovada:26:Bodog] has released Usman vs Masvidal odds with Usman listed at -375 and Masvidal coming back as a +285 underdog. This means you need to wager $375 to profit $100 with an Usman victory, while a $100 bet on a Masvidal win would profit you $285.
Usman vs Masvidal 2 Odds
Odds as of April 23 from [ol-sportsbook-bp:48:Bovada:26:Bodog]
Looking at the Usman vs Masvidal odds, our sports betting calculator tells us Usman’s odds of -375 represent an implied win probability of 78.95 percent while Masvidal’s +285 betting line has an implied win probability of 25.97 percent.
Usman vs Masvidal Odds Analysis
It seems that sportsbooks don’t believe there will be a result different from the first meeting, even with Jorge Masvidal having a full training camp in preparation for the second bout.
Odds for the first Usman vs Masvidal fight
When the welterweight belt was on the line at UFC 251, the champion walked to the Octagon as a -235 favorite with the challenger coming in as a +185 underdog. To those who believe history will repeat itself, hopefully you got the value from the Nigerian Nightmare in the first fight because it’s all gone this time around. For those who like Gamebred, you’re getting a much better line this time.
Usman vs Masvidal Prediction
One of the biggest questions heading into the first bout was whether Masvidal could cut weight to make the fight on just six days’ notice. It was brutal but he made it, though the question remains how that impacted his performance one night later.
What changes will the two men make?
Well, obviously, this time around Gamebred won’t have to go through the misery that he did in the video above. He still looked sharp in the early goings of the first fight, with great speed and a clear advantage on the feet. That said, his kicks were a bright spot and his demise all in one.
Masvidal landed kicks repeatedly but Usman also shot for a takedown on those kicks, securing five in the fight, and he had the obvious edge in that area of the bout. Usman showed off new striking skills in his last fight against Gilbert Burns, notably a sharp jab that new coach Trevor Whitman clearly worked on with him.
I worry that Usman may fall in love with his striking following a knockout victory, because I don’t think he can win a standup war with Masvidal. On the flip side, how much has Masvidal worked on his takedown defense and getting himself off the cage, because the champion was able to hold him against the cage for long periods of time leading to the victory.
All in all, I expect the Nigerian Nightmare to have a strategy similar to the first fight: grapple, hold Gamebred against the cage, wear on him with strikes and win a decision. While Masvidal should have more in the tank and will be more dangerous for a longer period, I don’t think he will have the conditioning to do 25 minutes of that grueling pace.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman (-375) via decision
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