The sequel should be better.
The first time Jorge Masvidal faced UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, it was in the middle of the pandemic last July. Masvidal was a late substitute when the original opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for COVID. So Masvidal took the fight on six days notice and had to scramble to make weight.
Masvidal was not his best and Usman dominated the fight with his grappling, en route to a rather one-sided decision.
But this time, things are different. Both fighters have had ample time to train. There will be no late surprises. And no excuses either.
So the sequel should be better.
PA sportsbooks offering specials for Masvidal vs. Usman
And Pennsylvania sportsbooks are working to advance that effort with a number of promotions built around the event. DraftKings is giving new users 26-1 odds on either main event fighter with a maximum $5 bet ($5 to win $130).
And FanDuel is providing a little leeway on parlays. Any user who places a 5+ Leg Parlay on the UFC 261 Event (max 1 leg per fight) can get a refund up to $25 in site credit if only one leg loses.
Let’s take a deeper look at Saturday’s MMA lineup and some of the available UFC wagers to get you ready for all the action.
Masvidal’s moneyline will pay out four times the money with an upset
In Saturday’s welterweight title main event, even with a much different lead-up, oddsmakers are expecting the same result. DraftKings has Usman as a sizable favorite with a moneyline price of -400. Masvidal is the underdog at +300.
And for those interested in wagering beyond the moneyline, there are plenty of options for that as well. In fact, DraftKings has odds listed for each individual round.
- Over 1.5: -715
- Under 1.5: +425
- Over 2.5: -360
- Under 2.5: +250
- Over 3.5: -250
- Under 3.5: +180
- Over 4.5: -190
- Under 4.5: +140
Players can also wager on the method of victory, the winning round and whether or not the fight will go the distance.
Zhang Weili looks to win her 22nd straight fight
In addition to the welterweight clash, UFC 261 features a pair of intriguing female title bouts as well.
In the strawweight title match, Zhang Weili puts an impressive 21-match win streak on the line against former champion Rose Namajunas. As noted in a UFC preview, Namajunas beat Jessica Andrade in a split decision bout last July to earn her status as the No. 1 contender. Zhang enters the fight as the favorite at -200 at DraftKings while Namajunas is +165.
And in the women’s flyweight title match, Valentina Shevchenko looks to defend her title against Andrade, who followed her loss to Namajunas with a first round KO/TKO win over Katlyn Chookagian in October. In this fight, Shevchenko is a heavy favorite at -455 and Andrade is priced at +340.
The rest of Saturday’s card and the moneyline prices at DraftKings as of April 21 are as follows:
- Uriah Hall (+100) vs. Chris Weidman (-125)
- Anthony Smith (+160) vs. Jim Crute (-200)
- Alex Oliveira (+125) vs. Randy Brown (-155)
- Dwight Grant (-245) vs. Stefan Sekulic (+190)
- Karl Roberson (+125) vs. Brendan Allen (-155)
- Danaa Batgerel (-182) vs. Kevin Natividad (+150)
- Kazula Vargas (+195) vs. Zhu Rong (-250)
- Qileng Aori (-110) vs. Jeffrey Molina (-110)
- Na Liang (+165) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (-210)
- Johnny Munoz (-286) vs. Jamey Simmons (+220)
The DraftKings 261 Special daily fantasy contest will pay out $200k to first place
Saturday’s fight card, which will be broadcast live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, will begin with the early preliminaries at 6 p.m. on ESPN2/ESPN+. The main card moves to ESPN Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m.
And for those interested in playing some daily fantasy alongside the MMA action, there will be plenty of contests available. The featured contest at DraftKings has a $25 entry fee with a prize pool of $750k and a top prize of $200K.
Over at FanDuel, the $8.88 entry, Saturday UFC Octagon has a $100K prize pool and a first-place payout of $20k.
It all starts at 6 p.m.
And in the main event, Jorge Masvidal gets a chance to avenge his performance from last summer.
There’s been plenty of time to train and no surprises in camp either.
So there are no excuses.
The sequel should be better.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II