UFC 261: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal Betting Guide

While the UFC has hummed right along since the pandemic started over a year ago now, the events, like all sporting events, have taken place mostly in empty gyms with little to no outside spectators.

That all changes Saturday night in Florida.

15,000+ fans are expected to be on hand Saturday night at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL for what should be a great night of fights and the first sense of normalcy in what has been far too long. With three title fights on the card, let’s look at the main event and see where we can spot the edge.

Get 30/1 Odds on either Usman or Masvidal to win UFC 261 >>

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Betting Profile: Kamaru Usman (18-1)

Last Five Fights

W
W
W
W
W

The welterweight champion of the world, Kamaru Usman, returns to the octagon this weekend, putting his undefeated UFC career on the line once again. In his third title defense, Usman last fought in February vs. Gilbert Burns, a 3rd round that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Currently ranked the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the company, Usman is as well-rounded as it gets in the sport. His 3.22 takedowns per 15 minutes rank near the top of the division, only to be bested by his staggering 4.66 Strikes Landed Per/Min (SLpM).

Betting Profile: Jorge Masvidal (35-14)

Last Five Fights

L
W
W
W
L

For Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, Saturday will mark the third time in his career he has fought for the elusive welterweight championship belt. First losing (via split decision) to then-champion Demian Maia back in 2017, Masvidal took down a roster of killers before getting another chance last summer vs. Usman. A five-round affair that went to the judge’s scorecards, a rematch was widely considered imminent.

While Usman has the advantage in almost every statistical category, the stats show Masvidal should be better suited to take this one to the ground. Not only is his takedown accuracy better at 59% (vs. 47%), he also is tracking at .4 submissions per 15 minutes in the octagon.

Outright Bet

Since the opening number, this line has aggressively tracked toward Usman, which anyone who knows the sport would certainly agree with. However, from a betting perspective, I think the value has shifted toward Masvidal, whose awkward style of fighting can catch just about anyone (ask Ben Askren).

Pick: Jorge Masvidal +320

Top Prop Bet

Given that Masvidal will likely be going all out in this one in what could very well end up being his last shot at a title should he lose, I expect his conditioning to be top-notch. We already know that’s never been a question for Usman.

Like the last one, I like this one to be left up to the judges, who will likely have another tough decision on their hands.

Pick: Will the fight go the distance? – Yes (-148)

Get 30/1 Odds on either Usman or Masvidal to win UFC 261 >>

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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

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