UFC 261 Parlay Party

Last week’s party was a success! When you only need two people for a party, I guess it isn’t that difficult to have a solid week. Tracy Cortez handled business against Justine Kish even though the Russian powerhouse made it interesting.

Well, I guess it was more Tracy making things closer than they needed to be by not shooting for more takedowns. Justine doesn’t really throw any knees up the middle or have a front choke/guillotine game so the Arizona native was free to spam away.

She wanted to get more experience on her feet to further evolve as a fighter and I get that 100% but she gave Kish too much of a chance. It was still a unanimous decision, though. The judges’ had the backs of the fighters the UFC is pushing.

That is except for Lupita Gonzalez, my gosh what a robbery! Jessica Penne did NOT win that fight but I will spare you my yelling.

Tony Gravely was the other leg of our parlay and he cleaned up. It wasn’t without a scare, though, in the first round when Anthony Birchak is the most dangerous. The whole 5 minutes was a back and forth battle.

It looked as if Tony Gravely was going to tap to a guillotine attempt but he hung in there and eventually caught Birchak with a short and sweet left hook that put the aging fighter away.

That was a nice payday for us. Let’s move on to this week and what a historic week it will be! UFC 261 will be the first UFC event with fans in attendance since before the pandemic. They are finally getting out of dry and windy Las Vegas and into the still humidity in Jacksonville, Florida.

Like last week, I don’t want to complicate things too much so we may just go with one parlay and call it a day. What do you s..think?

The betting odds we will be using today are brought to us by the amazing people over at BetOnline. Not only do they debut the UFC betting odds before almost any other sportsbook, but the online betting site also releases the most competitive betting lines.

And that goes for both the favorite and the underdog almost across the board.

Alright, it’s time to party!

Johnny Munoz + Kamaru Usman: -136

Johnny Munoz just sounds like a stud fighter and I don’t think any of us will ever forget the name Kamaru Usman and it isn’t up to us. I don’t think Kamaru is going to let any MMA fan forget his name.

This guy is really really good. I love how he made the move to train with one of my favorite coaches, teachers, and cornermen in the game, Trevor Wittman. Sanford MMA was great to him but I think things were getting crowded down there in South Florida.

There is the cross-town rivalry with American Top Team. MMA Masters is blowing up. Kamaru is the champ and such a polarizing figure in the MMA world that I think he benefited greatly from making the exit to Colorado.

The air is thin out and there and drier than in Las Vegas. Trevor has his students, mainly Justin Gaethje and Rose Namajunas who will also be fighting on this week’s historic main card in front of a crowd at UFC 261.

Other than those two and now Marty from Nebraska, he doesn’t have a lot of others under his care. I really like how Trevor thinks and does business. Justin Gaethje repeats what he says and you could swear that just for a second, Homer Simpson was an undercover genius.

Trevor understands coaching and people on several different levels than most coaches and teachers out there. He already has and will add more depth and detail to the already deadly mixed martial arts game of the UFC’s Welterweight Champion of the world, Kamaru Usman.

He told Usman in his fight against Burns that his jab is all-powerful and boy did he get Kamaru fired up and locked in after a scary start to the fight where he got rocked slightly in the first round.

How will Kamaru fare against Jorge Masvidal in their second matchup in less than 9 months?

Well, I obviously think he is going to win but I really don’t like the near 4 to 1 price tag even on the champ. That is very expensive against a fighter as durable and dangerous as Street Jesus aka Jorge Gamebred Masvidal.

Kamaru has a style, though, which is so dominating and suffocating that only fighters like Masvidal can hold up mentally. Kamaru says he wants to break Jorge in this fight. He knows that is the ultimate test because it doesn’t appear that anyone has even come close.

Masvidal knows that Kamaru can hold him up against the fence for 25, 35, or 45 minutes and be ready to keep going. That’s just who he is and how he fights. Before we ask ourselves do we think Kamaru will try to break the seemingly unbreakable on Saturday night at UFC 261, let’s ask the question of how would he break him?

He is going to have to beat on him more than he did in the first fight because wrestling pressure, control in the clinch, and 50+ foot stomps aren’t enough to break Gamebred.

Here’s the thing, though:

The first fight was dominated by Kamaru Usman but he did take some damage over 5 rounds. UFC 261, the first fight in front of a crowd since the pandemic and shutdown, will be contested inside of the large Octagon.

This should benefit Jorge Masvidal as he certainly wants and needs to stay off of the side of the Octagon. Easier said than done, though, bro.

I have Kamaru here to do what he has done to almost all of his opponents who prefer to strike. He grinds them out. I don’t think he breaks Street Jesus here but I do believe UFC 261’s main event will look a lot like their first meeting last July.

The other invite to this week’s UFC 261 parlay party is a far lesser-known fighter, Johnny Munoz. We picked him to win his UFC debut but he ran into the then severely underrated Nate Maness out of Kentucky.

The California native, Munoz, was the better wrestler on paper but Nate has one of the best frames I have ever seen for the Featherweight Division. He has the length in the arms as well as the width in the shoulders.

The guy is a problem and Johnny was 10-0 at the time. Munoz was just 2/16 on his takedown attempts but still out landed Maness 49-21 in significant strikes and had 9+ minutes of control time.

Johnny showed excellent defense in this fight as Nate Maness was only 7/34 on his strikes from distance as they two were striking on the feet.

It was just difficult for Munoz to get that takedown and when you are 2/16, it really makes you look unsuccessful even if you’re not getting bet up or choked in the process.

I rate Maness pretty high on the Featherweight prospect list and he barely beat Munoz here. I think Johnny’s fight with Jamey Simmons should be a nice matchup for him. Maness was taller and just as big with that great frame, diet, and weight cut also.

Simmons will be 3 inches shorter and if Munoz can land the inside leg kicks at range without putting his foot square onto the cup of his opponent as he did in his Octagon debut, I believe Munoz will cruise to a dominant decision victory and possibly get the back of Jamey and sink in the rear-naked choke.

The Parlay
Munoz + Usman

*Odds Courtesy of the Online Sportsbook BetOnline

In Conclusion

How can you not go with the champ in this spot. These two men just fought less than a year ago and what has really changed? Kamaru has been more active in taking and winning his fight against Gilbert Burns.

How about the confidence level of The Nigerian Nightmare as well? He is more or less the unstoppable force at this point. With his new head coach helping him become even better, I don’t even want to say what his limits are because this guy continues to impress.

He might not be the most pleasurable man to hear speak. I’m not sure what it is but as he has always said “You don’t have to like me but you are “darn” sure to respect me.

Jorge respects him and there is no doubt that Gamebred will have his mind right for this one but that’s not what it’s about. Usman showed that he can beat him physically and in a dominant 50-45 fashion.

Throw in Johnny Munoz. I like the kid to rebound well here against a severely undersized UFC Featherweight fighter in Jamey Simmons.

Those are the only two invites to the UFC 261 parlay party. I’m sorry for those of you who didn’t make the list this week but winning is the most important thing.

Sub Categories:
Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.