The UFC has a STACKED PPV card this weekend with UFC 261. The first PPV in front of fans since the COVID pandemic hit. The card has THREE title fights on the line, and is highlighted by the rematch between champion Kamaru Usman going against Jorge Masvidal.
Here are some specifics. The early prelims kick off at 5:45 pm on ESPN+. The prelims start at 8pm and then the main card kick off at 10pm on ESPN+ and cost $69.99
I will give you my predictions in the order the fights are to take place. All odds are courtesy of Bet MGM. The King of Sports Books! For new users head on over there and use the promocode PatEgan600 and get your first bet RISK FREE up to $600
81-55-3 so far this year ( 23-15-3 on locks)
(8-2 last fight card. 1-0 on locks)
Ariane Carnelossi -225
Qileng Aori -110
Zhu Rong -250
Danaa Batgerel -190
Pat Sabatini (Lock) -250
Brenden Allen (Lock) -160
Dwight Grant -225
Randy Brown -155
MAIN EVENT TIME
Jimmy Crute vs. Anthony Smith
There is no question that Jimmy Crute is a PROBLEM. Since winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series hes gone on a tear. But hes been primarily fighting other up-and-comers. His last win against Modestas Bukauskas was extremely impressive. This fight however is different. Hes not fighting another kid, hes fighting a grizzled vet with 50 pro fights. Hes fighting a guy who took Jon Jones the distance. This is your typical prospect VS vet fight. And I like the vet. Anthony Smith snapped his 2 fight losing streak ( Glover Teixeira, Aleksandar Rakić) he had his “get right fight” against Devin Clark and dusted him in half a round. He lost the Glover Teixeira fight in BAD fashion, but whats forgotten is how incredible he looked in the first two rounds. Anthony Smith is still a top 5 Light Heavyweight in the world He proves it again Saturday night.
Anthony Smith +165
Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
This is a gross fight. Its put on the card so the UFC can say “look! we have a former champion fighting” but the former champion is cooked. On the flip side, Uriah Hall is the equivalent of BJ Upton. That overhyped prospect that turned out to be a fine player (or fighter in this case) but never lived up to the expectations.
Weidman is 15-5 but all 5 losses have come in his last 7 fights. Now, in his defense, the five losses were to top talent. Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, Dominick Reyes, Jacare Souza, and Gegard Mousasi. But in the most recent losses hes looked cooked. Outright bad. Its not like I think Hall is some world beater, because I dont. Its more of the lesser of two evils. I think Hall is just the better fighter right now. But that isnt saying much.
Uriah Hall +105
Valentina Shevchenko (C) vs. Jessica Andrade
Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes are the two best female fighters on the planet. They will continue to obliterate anyone in their path until they once again meet in the octagon in a Super Fight. Different opponent, same result
Valentina Shevchenko (lock) -500
Weili Zhang (C) vs. Rose Namajunas
If this fight were to take place BEFORE Rose Namajunas rematched Jessica Andrade I wouldve taken Namajunas. Her striking ability is so crisp. Her ground game is even better. Shes a flat out beast. I thought she shouldve gotten an immediate rematch against Andrade when she dropped the belt to her. But she didnt. And Andrade ended up fighting Weili Zhang and losing in quick fashion. Zhang then had a fight of the year against Joanna Jędrzejczyk where she retained the belt. A global pandemic hit and that was the last time we saw Zhang.
So lets go back to why im not picking Namajunas. She fought Jessica Andrade in her last fight, a fight that she won. But the fight went just three rounds, and there is no doubt in my mind that if it had gone 5 she wouldve dropped. By the end of the fight she looked like the weaker fighter. And thats nothing to be ashamed of because Andrade hits like a Mack truck. Theres a reason she moved up. But Zhang ALSO hits hard. And the Zhang Jedrzejczyk fight is a sign that Zhang can withstand a war for 5 rounds and live to see the score cards.
Namajunas is a precision over power fighter. And her path to victory is to get the fight to the mat. But I think she picks Zhang apart on the feet in the early rounds, but is unable to withstand the punching power. I love Thug Rose, and I would love to be wrong about this one. But we hear “And Still” come Saturday
Weili Zhang -200
Kamaru Usman (C) vs. Jorge Masvidal
Usman was ripped for their first fight for “stale mating.” Im not going to sit here and tell you it was a fun fight. It wasnt. But Usman’s job is to win. He gets more money for winning. It makes ZERO sense for Usman, a wrestler, to stand and trade with Masvidal. NONE. Combine that with the fact that Usman entered the fight with a broken nose….the fight we got made a lot of sense.
But this narative (that Colby “got my jaw broken by Usman” Covington started) that Usman is a boring fighter is just not accurate. His last fight he stood with the heavy handed Gilbert Burns. And he outclassed him. Dropping him in the third round behind a heavy jab. Usman’s move out to Colorado to train under Trevor Whitman has taken his game to another level. Hes holding the belt for a reason.
Masvidal will forever be riding the high of the 4 second knee heard round the world. When Burns tested positive for COVID, Masvidal saw a “no lose” situation. He took the fight on 6 days notice. And when he lost, he used that to his advantage. “Give me a full camp and I can beat that guy.” And sure, he could catch Usman with a shot. But I dont see that happening.
I do think Usman is more willing to trade with him than last time. He’ll be playing with fire. But He is a guy who wants to shut the “haters” up. You think hes scared to trade with Burns? He stands and trades. He wont go to the ground with Woodley? He mauls him for 5 rounds. I think Masvidal has done a tremendous job capitalizing on his highlight reel from Ben Askren. And beating another journeyman fighter (Nate Diaz) for a made up belt. But there are levels to this game. And Usman is at the top.
Kamaru Usman (Lock) -400
Since BET MGM is the king of parlay’s here is how the parlay odds look!
- If you take every one of my picks and parlay them on BetMGM, wagering $100 you’d win $38,937 (+38837)
- If you just parlay the prelims, using all my picks and wagering $100 you would walk away with $3,185 (+3085)
- Parlay the main card, taking all my picks and wagering $100 you would cash in $1,222 (+1122)
- And if you just want to take my locks and parlay them on BetMGM, wagering $100 you would win $341 (+241)
Odds subject to change. Good luck!