In the main event of UFC 261, Kamaru Usman will once again defend his welterweight championship against Jorge Masvidal when the two meet in front of a live crowd at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
The last time these two met at UFC 251, Usman dominated Masvidal to earn a unanimous decision. The difference this time around is that Masvidal won’t be stepping in on less than a week’s notice and will have a full training camp to prepare for his rival. But the same can be said for Usman, who now knows exactly what Masvidal has to offer and will look to prove that he’s one of the best fighters in the world.
Usman is heading into this fight coming off of a stellar third-round knockout of Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 in February. As for Masvidal, he hasn’t fought since losing the decision to Usman nine months ago. But considering that he came in on such short notice, he gets the chance to redeem himself and become a champion.
Will a full camp be just what Masvidal needed or is Usman simply the better fighter who will be more impressive in the rematch than he was in their initial meeting?
Here are the betting odds to help you with your selection.
All odds courtesy of FanDuel.
UFC 261 odds for Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2
- Kamaru Usman: -400
- Jorge Masvidal: +300
- Draw: +5000
Although Masvidal will have a full camp for his rematch with Usman, he still is considered a massive underdog according to oddsmakers. Currently, Masvidal is a +300 underdog which means a $100 eager will earn a return of $300. Usman will enter this fight as a bigger favorite than the last time they met as a -400 favorite. It will take a wager of $400 to win $100.
Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2 prop bets
- Usman by (T)KO: +280
- Usman by Submission: +1700
- Usman by Decision: -120
- Masvidal by (T)KO: +460
- Masvidal by Submission: +2200
- Masvidal by Decision: +1400
Kamaru Usman has quietly put together a stellar UFC career that isn’t talked about enough. The 33-year-old has an undefeated record of 13-0 in the UFC. He’s never been outstruck in a fight nor has he ever had the judges see a fight in the favor of his opponent. Somehow, his dominance has flown under the radar despite being the champion and in pursuit of his third consecutive title defense.
Masvidal might be one of the most popular fighters on the roster, but a closer look at his resume reveals that maybe he’s not as good as advertised. Nothing can be taken away from his stoppages over Darren Till and the five-second destruction of Ben Askren, but Masvidal has never defeated a top fighter in the welterweight division. Even his TKO victory over Nate Diaz was against an opponent who was incredibly popular but was never a championship contender.
It’s hard to see this fight going any different in the rematch than it did the first time around despite Masvidal having longer than six days to prepare. The combination of Usman’s wrestling and his constantly improving striking will likely be a recipe to retain his title in dominant fashion. The only real question is whether Usman can finish the fight inside the distance or if it will be another decision victory.
Masvidal will always have a puncher’s chance and could cash in on the upset should Usman’s confidence cause him to make a critical error. That’s unlikely to happen as Usman is aware of the dangers that Masvidal presents and will likely deploy a similar game plan in the rematch that combines takedowns with clinch work to sap the energy out of the Cuban’s explosive striking.
Masvidal hasn’t been stopped in over a decade and was knocked out once back in 2008. He’s faced some impressive strikers in Stephen Thompson and Lorenz Larkin but was never in any real trouble. Usman is arguably stronger than anybody that Masvidal has faced and could put him down given the opportunity. Chances are that he doesn’t take too many risks and dominates his way to a points decision in the rematch. With the betting like being -120 for Usman to win by decision, it’s probably the best route to go.
Sporting News pick: Kamaru Usman by decision