UFC 261 is inching closer to kick off. Nearly a year after the global shutdown because of the global pandemic and forced isolation of the public, fans return to the arena on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida with a trio of title fights to welcome them back UFC president Dana White has nothing but big plans for the rest of 2021 and it all starts at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is ready to step back inside the Octagon for his latest title defense when he faces off with Jorge Masvidal. Usman has defended his title three times since earning it in 2019, including a win over Masvidal last year and a TKO over Gilbert Burns in February. But Masvidal is no slouch as the Miami native rose to prominence in 2019 with three highlight-reel wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.
Alex Oliveira vs. Randy Brown
Dwight Grant vs. Stefan Sekulic
Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via sub (heel hook) (R1, 4:55) | Watch finish
Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via first-round TKO (0:50) | Watch finish
Kazula Vargas def. Rong Zhu via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28 x2)
Jeffrey Molina def. Aori Qileng via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
Ariane Carnelossi def. Liang Na via second-round TKO (1:28)
UFC 261: USMAN vs. MASVIDAL 2 will take place Saturday, April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Early prelims will stream on ESPN+ in English and Spanish beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT along with UFC Fight Pass, with ESPN2 joining programming in progress at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. The prelims will continue on ESPN+ and simulcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the ESPN+ Pay-Per-View main card will kick off at 10 p.m. ET/7p.m. PT.
Na cracked Carnelossi with a right hand just seconds into the fight, dropping her to the canvas. Carnelossi quickly scrambled back to her feet and the two women exchanged wildly in the clinch. Na was able to take the fight to the floor to try to slow the action down, but there was no sustained break to be had.
No. 3 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter Usman (18-1, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Auchi, Nigeria) kicked off his 2021 campaign with an impressive TKO win over former teammate Gilbert Burns in February. On top of besting Masvidal in their first encounter last July, Usman has also delivered sensational victories against Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley and Rafael Dos Anjos. Usman now has his sights set on securing his fourth title defense by proving his first win over Masvidal was no fluke.
Those trio of titleholders will enter Saturday night as massive favorites to retain their championships. And with good reason. Usman, Zhang and Shevchenko are a combined 44-0 in their last 44 appearances. So while there’s always a chance for an upset, oddsmakers are banking on those three exiting the arena with their belts in tow once again.
But even though those are the most likely results doesn’t mean that they will actually happen. That’s why it’s called gambling, after all. And that’s why we’re here right now. William Hill Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of UFC 261 to get in on the action. We’re going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let’s take a closer look at those picks now.