SMUGGLING DUDS UFC 261 GAMBLING GUIDE
The UFC returns to full capacity seating and with three titles on the line we can’t wait for this one. Don’t forget to follow us on social media and let us know who you are picking!
Main Card (BT Sport)
Kamauru Usman (c) Vs Jorge Masvidal (Welterweight)
The UFC’s very own BMF (Note: BMF title is not on the line here) said the only reason he lost against Usman the first time round was a limited camp due to stepping in at late notice. Full camp or not, it is hard to see how the result will be any different. Like him or not, Usman seems to improve with every bout and let us not forget he absolutely destroyed not only an opponent but an actual friend in Gilbert Burns just two months ago. Usman is well and truly in his prime and it is going to take something specialto get the title off him. The former TUF star has told fans to expect a knockout this time but Masvidal is as tough as they come, and we can’t see it happening but to be fair it sounds a lot more impressive than saying ‘I’m going to go get a unanimous decision’, which inevitably will be the case.
Zhang Weili (c) Vs Rose Namajunas (Women’s Strawweight)
Rose sustained far too many shots from Jessica Andrade in her last outing, and if Andrade can land shots, just imagine how much damage champion Zhang Weili is going to do - especially with a proper camp that hasn’t involved escaping to various countries to avoid COVID, which is what she endured prior to her monumental scrap with Joanna Jedrzejczyk. As an MMA fighter, we have nothing but respect for ‘Thug Rose’, she always brings it and has proven she is capable of landing a knockout punch, but this one has all the makings of a really tough night at the office for the former title holder and there is a good chance the ref might wave this one off before the final bell.
Valentina Shevchenko (c) Vs Jessica Andrade (Women’s Flyweight)
We really can’t see how Andrade can wins this one. Shevchenko will be too fast and we think the Soviet star is out to make a statement in order to get the attention of Bantamweight champion, and former rival Amanda Nunes (the only fighter to defeat ‘Bullet’ in the UFC). It could also be used to send a message to Zhang Weili, in order to generate interest in a potential UFC Super-Fight. It is highly unlikely Shevchenko will blow Andrade out of the water here, and if it was over 5 rounds a stoppage would be more likely but the safe bet is a unanimous decision for sure.
Uriah Hall Vs Chris Weidman (Middleweight)
On September 24th 2010, two fighters from rival gyms, both billed as future stars of MMA, squared off in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This was the first bout between Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman and resulted in Weidman winning with a first round TKO. Fast forward 11 years and we have ourselves a rematch. Does ‘Primetime’ finally get his revenge over ‘The All-American’? Well, we think this one goes two ways; either Hall doesn’t get out of first gear and gets pinned to the canvas all night, or he pulls the trigger and makes it 1-1. We are going with the latter.
Anthony Smith Vs Jimmy Crute (Light Heavyweight)
On paper this has the makings of an absolute war, with two massive light heavyweights who don’t mind taking a punch to land an even bigger one. Since 2019, Smith’s UFC career has been a little up and down when it comes to getting his hand raised but this is due to the fact he’s fought the best the division has to offer. Crute is much less experienced when comparing former opponents but a win over ‘Lion Heart’ will sky rocket his profile. This one was much tougher to call than we expected but we are sticking to our guns and think this one plays out more cautious than fans will have hoped for.
Preliminary Card (BT Sport )
Alex Oliveira Vs Randy Brown (Welterweight)
Another fighter on this card keen to erase memories of his last performance is Randy Brown. He faces MMA veteran Alex Oliveira in what will be the Brazilians 19th UFC bout (that’s 9 more than the amount of children he has fathered – true story, check Wikipedia if you don’t believe us). The days of being a legit contender in the division are probably over for ‘Cowboy’ but he is always so confident, you can’t help but think he might get the win. We think Brown gets a submission victory, possibly a decision.
Dwight Grant Vs Stefan Sekulic (Welterweight)
Busted on numerous accounts of steroid abuse following a decision loss to Ramazan Emeevway back in 2018 means Serbian fighter Stefan Sekulic hasn’t been active for over 3 years. Bearing mind the loss was his UFC debut, he’s been lucky to be handed another opportunity. Unfortunately it is against a fighter who will be desperate to get back to winning ways after suffering a KO loss in his last Octagon. Expect violence from Grant.
Karl Roberson Vs Brendan Allen (Middleweight)
Brendan Allen goes by the name of ‘All In’ but this certainly wasn’t the case in his last UFC outing, which was pretty dreadful. If we were to base this prediction purely on Allen’s last fight it would be a no brainer but there is no way he can under perform as badly as that again so expect him to bounce back against Karl Roberson, who certainly won’t back down, but will probably find himself on the end of a decision loss here.
Patrick Sabatini Vs Tristan Connelly (Featherweight)
You may remember Tristan Connelly as the Canadian fighter who completely derailed super flamboyant Michael Pereira back in September 2019? The reason you’ve not seen him recently is because he underwent major neck surgery. Making the weight and a long lay-off can only work in his opponent’s favour which happens to be Patrick Sabatini, a younger fighter who has impressed enough on Cage Fury Fighting Championships to be given a UFC contract. A tough comeback fight for Connelly. To be honest it might end up a draw. Leave off any accumulators for sure.
Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Danaa Batgerel Vs Kevin Natividad (Bantamweight)
Natividad entered the UFC with some decent hype but ended up seeing stars in a surprise knockout loss to Miles Johns. He faces an awkward challenge in Danaa Batgerel and we aren’t sure he’s up for it.
Kazula Vargas Vs Rong Zhu (Lightweight)
Having been disqualified in February of this year for kneeing downed opponent Brok Weaver, Mexican native Kazula Vargas finds himself back in the Octagon in quick time. At only 21 years of age, it could be argued Rong Zhu lacks the experienced needed to win this one but the young Chinese fighter has a record that simply can’t be denied (16-3-0 and undefeated in ten fights). We are intrigued by this one and can’t help but think the UFC have that much faith in their new signing, they expect to send Vargas packing from the organization.
Qileng Aori Vs Jeffrey Molina (Flyweight)
Two rising stars making their big stage debut, with Molina being a product of DWCS (Dana White’s Contender Series), should make for an interesting scrap. Regular gambling guide readers will know that we are always a little hesitant to back fighters making the step from DWCS and as his opponent is undefeated in his last six fights, with only two going the distance, we think Aori might literally turn a few heads in this one.
Na Liang Vs Ariane Carnelossi (Women’s Strawweight)
Ariane Carnelossi had a terrible UFC debut in September of last year with a referee stoppage at the hands of Angela Hill. The Brazilian will be keen to make amends and even though she is up against the taller Na ‘Dragon Girl’ Lang who makes her debut on a 3 fight win streak, we think Carnelossi grinds out a decision.
UFC 261 WILD CARD BET: Rose Namajunas to defeat Zhang Weili via Submission