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UFC 261: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2 Main Event Picks

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UFC 261: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2 Main Event Picks
Kamaru Usman. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a jam-packed schedule and this Saturday we are getting what should be a very entertaining welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Here’s a complete preview, including updated UFC odds and online betting picks.

Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

UFC Welterweight Title Bout – Main Event

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville

In the main event of the evening, Kamaru Usman defends his UFC welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal. UFC 261 takes place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville in front of around 15,000 fans. With plenty of betting lines and markets currently available, use our Odds Calculator to find some value for our UFC picks on Saturday’s main event.

This is a highly-anticipated UFC welterweight title rematch. Masvidal took the first fight, at UFC 251, on six days’ notice replacing Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for coronavirus and Usman won via unanimous decision on July 11th in Abu Dhabi.

Kamaru Usman during a press conference for UFC 245. Jason Silva / AGIF

Kamaru Usman

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Kamaru Usman was born in Auchi Nigeria and his family moved to the United States when he was five years old. He started wrestling at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas and was a three-time NCAA All-American and the NCAA Division II National Champion in 2010.

'The Nigeran Nightmare' made his professional MMA debut in 2012 and won The Ultimate Fighter 21, submitting Hayder Hassan in the second round on July 12th, 2015. Usman is a physical force that has dominated everyone he’s faced. He won his first nine fights in the UFC before beating Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title via unanimous decision at UFC 235 on March 2nd, 2019.

Usman’s current 13-fight win streak in the UFC saw him go from an unknown to one of the most dominant champions in the promotion. Usman has not lost many rounds in his career but his rise wasn’t easy. This is a special fighter that has wins against Sean Strickland, Sergio Moraes, Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Tyron Woodley and most recently Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns to name a few.

  • Born: May 11th, 1987
  • Age: 33
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 76″
  • Stance: Switch
  • Association: Sanford MMA
  • Class: Welterweight
  • Record: 18-1

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
8 wins by KO/TKO4.66 Landed47% Accuracy
1 win by Submission2.33 Absorbed100% Defended
9 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • Physical strength
  • Dangerous striker
  • Excellent wrestler
  • Solid takedown defense

Octagon Weaknesses

  • Tends to rush things, may eat extra counter shots

Jorge Masvidal looks on during a Welterweight Bout. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

Jorge Masvidal

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Jorge Masvidal was born in Miami, Florida. His father is Cuban and his mother is Peruvian. Masvidal grew up in Miami and was involved in street fighting from a young age. You can find videos of his fights on YouTube, including his win against “Ray” (Kimbo Slice’s protégé).

He became a professional in 2003, winning his kickboxing debut at a Fast a Fearless event in April of that year. Masvidal beat Joseph Benjamin by majority decision in his only boxing fight on June 28th, 2005 at Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel in Miami. He has also competed for World Victory Road, Bellator, Shark Fights and Strikeforce.

Only Alistair Overeem has more career fights (56) than Jorge Masvidal (48) before receiving their first UFC title shot. He has paid his dues and now he will have his second UFC title shot, this time with more time to prepare. Masvidal's last win was via TKO (doctor stoppage) before the fourth round against Nate Diaz at UFC 244 on November 2nd, 2019. The 'baddest motherf—ker in the game' has KO/TKO wins against Darren Till, Ben Askren and Diaz in three of his last four fights.

  • Born: November 12th, 1984
  • Age: 36
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 5’11″
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 74″
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Association: American Top Team
  • Class: Welterweight
  • Record: 35-14

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
16 wins by KO/TKO4.20 Landed59% Accuracy
2 wins by Submission3.00 Absorbed77% Defended
17 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • Battle-tested
  • Smart defense
  • Tricky offense
  • Underrated clinch technician
  • Excellent grappler

Octagon Weaknesses

  • Has had off nights and a sparring mentality

Prediction

If Masvidal wants to beat Usman he has to fix his grappling, takedown defense and anything in-between. ‘Gamebred’ is a dangerous striker but Usman can eliminate him with his elite wrestling offense. Usman's path to victory is clear, he has the edge in power, wrestling and confidence after winning the first fight against Masvidal with ease. He has to stick to the game plan from the first fight. The UFC welterweight champion shouldn't try to test his ever-evolving striking output against Masvidal.

Masvidal can set up combinations with his jab, which is one of the best in the UFC and he’s very tough. He’s been stopped just once in his 49-fight career (in 2008 against Rodrigo Damm in a Sengoku event in Japan) and it was a questionable call. Masvidal is a special fighter too and I see this fight going the distance with Usman prevailing, just like in July.

UFC Pick: Kamaru Usman by Points -140 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Kamaru Usman by Points-140
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