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Weili vs Namajunas Odds & Prediction: Can Thug Rose Reclaim Title?

Zhang Weili (left) is favored in the Weili vs Namajunas odds at UFC 261.

The second of three title fights at UFC 261 has the women’s strawweight gold on the line as Zhang Weili makes her second title defense when she takes on former champion Rose Namajunas.

Prior to the strawweight title fight is Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade for the women’s flyweight belt and the main event sees Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight strap in a rematch vs Jorge Masvidal.

UFC 261 is taking place on April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The event will have 15,000 fans in attendance with the main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Looking at Weili vs Namajunas odds, it is the champion who is favored to retain her title.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released the Weili vs Namajunas odds with the champ listed at -210 and the challenger coming back as a +170 underdog. That means you would have to bet $210 to profit $100 with a Weili win, while a $100 wager on Namajunas would profit you $170.

Weili vs Namajunas Odds

FighterOdds
Zhang Weili-210
Rose Namajunas+170

Odds as of April 23 at Bovada

Using our sports betting calculator, the Weili vs Namajunas odds tell us that Zhang’s odds of -210 represent an implied win probability of 67.74 percent, while Rose’s +170 betting line has an implied win probability of 37.04 percent.

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Weili vs Namajunas Odds Analysis

The -210 betting line is bang on for “Magnum” throughout her short UFC career, as she was a slight underdog when she won the title against Jessica Andrade and was -195 vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense, which won fight of the year last year. Perhaps we could have seen this line slightly tighter, but I think Weili is priced correctly.

Can Rose Duplicate UFC 217 Performance?

Flash back to UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden, when three titles were on the line, the first in Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas. “Thug” Rose was a massive +500 underdog and stopped the champion in the first round to earn the title. Nearly four years later, Namajunas is in the first of three title fights and is entering the cage as an underdog.

In Rose’s career, she has been the plus-money option three times, going 2-1 with that lone defeat coming against Jessica Andrade in Namajunas’ second title defense.

Weili vs Namajunas Preview

In the early stages of Namajunas’ career, she was known for a great ground game with a strong submission arsenal. In fact, five of her first six pro wins were by submission. But her striking was on full display in her two victories over Jedrzejczyk, stopping Joanna once and outdueling her to a decision in the rematch.

Rose has a great jab and incredible footwork, landing her strikes effectively and then getting out of danger swiftly. Thug does a good job laying traps and countering heavily, willing to go second or even draw out the counter from her opponent and go third.

Is Weili On Another Level?

Magnum may have been relatively unknown when she fought Jessica Andrade in August 2019, a fight in which she was a +130 underdog before earning a first-minute knockout. Weili holds a 21-1 record with that lone defeat being a controversial one in her pro debut. Of her 21 wins, 17 have been stoppages with 10 knockouts and seven submissions.

As well-rounded as Namajunas is, Weili is right there with her. She has never been taken down in her five UFC bouts while averaging 1.26 takedowns of her own. However, she works primarily in the striking game  and she sits down on everything she throws, typically as a counter-striker.

Magnum is really quick and at times enters the pocket before her opponent reacts, lands a quick, powerful two-strike combination and gets out. She’s also a bit of a bulldog – when she lands and gains confidence, she marches forward, looking to exchange hands.

Weili vs Namajunas: Final Thoughts

We very well could be in store for another fight of the year candidate with this one. The skill set that Jedrzejczyk brought against Weili is quite similar to what Namajunas will bring, though Thug’s may be slightly better with two wins over Jedrzejczyk. One area in which Jedrzejczyk had success against Magnum was leg kicks, but when she punched, she was often outmatched.

It’ll be interesting to see Namajunas’ quickness and head movement if she can draw out the Weili attack, avoid it and counter repeatedly en route to a decision win. That’s how I feel this fight will play out but it’ll be an all-out war for 25 minutes!

Prediction: Rose Namajunas (+170) via decision