I wouldn’t say I like to exaggerate, but UFC 251 promises to be one most memorable pay-per-view events in recent years.
The main event between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns felt apart when Burns tested positive for COVID. That itself was good enough to get anybody excited, but there will be other two title fights inside the main card, and now we also get to see Usman vs. Masvidal.
The event will be on Saturday, July 11. It will be the first at the UFC Fight Island facility on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
It’s time for some UFC betting, so let’s break it down.
Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal
|Usman Vs. Masvidal Odds To Win|
Kamaru Usman jumps out as the favorite at -280 at MyBookie.ag. He is the current UFC Welterweight Champ. He earned that title when he beat Tyron Woodley back in March 2019. Then, he recorded his first successful title defense against Colby Covington in December.
Usman is as reliable and proven as a titleholder can be in the UFC. He hasn’t lost a UFC fight since 2013, winning 14 in a row since that only defeat against Jose Caceres. It’s been a while.
The Nigerian is one of the best wrestlers in the world, with an uncanny skill to land great punches. He’s tough to deal with because he has mastered those two abilities better than anybody in the division.
After Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19, UFC needed Jorge Masvidal to step up on a week’s notice to fight Usman. “Street Jesus” just got clear after passing his COVID test. Now we know for sure there will be action in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
At first, Masvidal overplayed his hand by asking for too much money to fight Usman, and the UFC was not having any of that. However, it seems that when they’re desperate for record-breaking main events, money isn’t that big of an issue.
Jorge Masvidal’s primary weapon is his striking. He has been the game for a long time. Right now, he is one of the smartest strikers in the roster.
Jorge feels comfortable testing the opponent’s reactions from the outside. A perfect example was his KO against Till. But he can also be lethal in the clinch.
I don’t think Usman would like to be standing to exchange blows with Masvisal. However, he was training his striking heavily to take burns out of his element. He might want to beat Jorge in his own game, as he did with Colby.
Burns is flying high, and the challenge of facing Kamaru Usman comes at the right time. Mybookie has the Brazilian at +220.
No Camp, No Cardio?
The big question here is if Jorge Masvidal is year-round ready to kill. One thing it’s maintenance training and another it’s camp training.
If Jorge can keep up with Kamaru’s cardio and output and will be happy to bet on Gambred.
I’m not going to lie, Jorge Masvidal at +220 is an interesting bet. There is both value and a genuine chance for an upset.
Even so, Kamaru Usman is the “safer” bet because he is a crafted fighter who imposes his superiority every round and it’s prepared with a full camp. Masvidal it’s still an incredible striker with some of the most impressive KOs in recent UFC history. I’m glad to take a shot with the dog. Bet Masvidal +220.
Our Usman Vs. Masvidal UFC 251 Pick:
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway
|Volkanovski Vs. Holloway Odds To Win|
The UFC Featherweight Championship matchup between Volkanovski and Holloway could be the main event on another UFC PPV. It’s that good.
Alexander Volkanovski is -185 at MyBookie to retain the championship. He comes in with 18 wins in a row, including the last one when he beat Max Holloway to take the belt.
Volkanovski kept Holloway guessing during most of the fight and won via unanimous decision. I don’t think the contest will have the same development, but it should have the same outcome.
Alexander Volkanovski is on another level right now, and it the best bet.
Our Holloway Vs. Volkanovski UFC 251 Pick:
Petr Yan vs. José Aldo
It’s been a while since betting on José Aldo felt like a lock. The Brazilian has lost two in a row and four of his last six fights.
For this event, he’s the dog at +200, but he has never lost three straight fights.
Petr Yan is the favorite to claim the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship at -235. The Russian has won nine in a row. The streak includes a fantastic victory over Urijah Faber with a kick in the head during UFC 245.
Aldo is the more experienced fighter while Yan is in a better form. I don’t expect Jose Aldo to just concede a third loss in a row. If Yan wants it, he will have to earn it, which will lead to a long but exciting fight.
Our Yan Vs. Aldo UFC 251 Pick:
Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
|Andrade Vs. Namajunas Odds To Win|
Both Andrade and Namajunas are coming off losses in their last outings.
Namajunas is the favorite at -185. She won three straights before losing against Jéssica Andrade the last she stepped in the Octagon. Yes, this is a rematch of their UFC 237 meeting.
Andrade, instead, lost to Zhang Weili three months after beating Rose Namajunas. The UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship didn’t last long with her.
Many believe when Andrade beat Namajunas in the first meeting, there was some luck involved. I’m not one of those, but I do feel Rose Namajunas is the stronger fighter. She was caught off guard the first time, and I don’t see it happening again.
Our Andrade Vs. Namajunas UFC 251 Pick:
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
Amanda Ribas is a huge favorite at -900. She has won her last four fights in a row, with the last two coming via decision.
Paige VanZant is not new. She’s been around since 2012 but has only fought 12 times in the UFC. She beat Rachael Ostovich in her last fight, stopping a stretch of two losses in a row.
There is no value in taking Ribas. But neither of these fighters are considered great finishers. Bet the Over.