UFC 251: Trio Of Title Fights On Tap
- UFC 251 will see the promotion make its debut on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi with a trio of title bouts
- Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is the -275 odds-on favorite to beat challenger Jorge Masvidal
- Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is also the -250 chalk to beat Max Holloway
- Petr Yan is given -250 odds to claim the vacant bantamweight crown over Jose Aldo.
Say what you will about Dana White – and just about everything has been said regarding the man who runs UFC – but he bows to no one when it comes to skill as a promoter. White touted that he’d come up with a private island to contest UFC cards in quarantined comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s backing up his words with the promised product.
UFC 251 will be held on July 11 on the so-called Fight Island. It’s actually Yas Island in Abu Dhabi but for the next month, it has a new name. And right off the bat, it will be home to a spectacular MMA card. UFC 251 is being headlined by a trio of world title fights, which should see the UFC 251 betting odds getting plenty of action.
The main event will see welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defend his title against Jorge Masvidal. A featherweight title rematch features champion Alexander Volkanovski facing Max Holloway. Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will battle in a title bout for the vacant bantamweight crown.
The matches are being held in conjunction with the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) of Abu Dhabi. COVID-19 guidelines must be followed in order for the bouts to take place. Social distancing rules will be in effect other than the two combatants battling in the octagon.
|Fighter #1||Fighter #2|
|-275||+20000 (Draw)||+210||Jorge Masvidal|
|-250||+20000 (Draw)||+190||Max Holloway|
|-250||+20000 (Draw)||+190||Jose Aldo|
|Rose Namajunas||-200||+20000 (Draw)||+160||Jessica Andrade|
All participants, from fighters, to corner people, judges, officials, and organizers are required to arrive in Abu Dhabi well ahead of time. They will undergo quarantine and everyone will be tested for COVID-19. If the test comes back positive, they won’t be permitted on the island.
Some 2,500 people will be contained on the island during the month-long UFC activity there. All of the bouts will be contested without spectators in attendance.
- 1Kamaru Usman (-275) vs Jorge Masvidal (+210)
- 2Alexander Volkanovski (-250) vs Max Holloway (+190)
- 3Petr Yan (-250) vs Jose Aldo (+190)
- 4Rose Namajunas (-160) vs Jessica Andrade (+200)
Kamaru Usman (-275) vs Jorge Masvidal (+210)
UFC Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman. Photo by: YouTube.com screenshot.
There’s already been plenty of action on Usman in the UFC betting odds since the betting lines opened on this bout. His odds to win at Bovada shortened from -190 to -275. Nicknamed The Nigerian Nightmare, Usman defeated Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 to win the title. He successfully defended his title against Colby Covington at UFC 245. Usman is 16-1 lifetime.
Challenger Masvidal is arguably the No. 1 welterweight contender. He’s won three in a row and defeated Nate Diaz in his last bout. The Miami-based fighter trains out of Miami, Florida. He’s a real animal and will be hard to stop.
Masvidal is the better grappler of the two but Usman is no slouch when it comes to his ground game. Usman is a more complete fighter and a superior striker. He’ll put his five-inch reach advantage to good use.
Alexander Volkanovski (-250) vs Max Holloway (+190)
Volkanovski recorded a unanimous decision over Holloway to take the belt at UFC 245. He’s 21-1 and has won 18 fights in a row dating back to 2013. Like Usman, he’s the heavy chalk in the UFC 251 betting lines.
Holloway is 21-5 but he’s lost two of his last three bouts. He’d been on a five-year unbeaten streak prior to his stumble last year.
The featherweight belt holder from 2016-19, Holloway was unsuccessful when he challenged champion Dustin Poirier for the UFC world lightweight title.
Volkanovski has vowed to knock out Holloway in this bout. Holloway is a high-volume puncher, so a KO could be in the cards here.
Petr Yan (-250) vs Jose Aldo (+190)
Ex-UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo. Photo by: YouTube.com screenshot.
This is the first title fight for Yan, 14-1, who is riding a nine-bout winning streak. He’s won four of his last seven fights via knockout and is heavily favored in the UFC 251 Vegas odds.
A three-time former featherweight champ, Aldo is 28-6. He won the featherweight belt in 2009 and successfully defended it nine times. Aldo’s fight history reads like a who’s-who of UFC royalty. He’s tangled with Volkanovski, Holloway (twice) Frankie Edgar and Conor McGregor.
He’s lost two straight and four of six fights, though. Since 2015, he’s 3-5 in the octagon.
Yan’s punching power should determine this bout. Aldo won’t go easily, though, and a value play on the underdog here wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Rose Namajunas (-160) vs Jessica Andrade (+200)
It isn’t a title bout but this rematch between two former world strawweight champs figures to be a strong contender for fight of the night.
Namajunas (8-4) lost the world title to Andrade in her last bout via a second-round knockout. She’s the No. 2 UFC contender in this weight class.
Andrade (20-7) lost the title to Zhang Weili via TKO in her most recent fight. She’s ranked as the No. 1 strawweight contender.
Namajunas was in control of their first bout when Andrade delivered the knockout blow. Andrade’s power advantage will again be the difference in the rematch. The best UFC betting advice on this bout is to play the underdog.
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