UFC 261 Betting Pick: Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman 2

In the main event of UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal will somehow get another shot at the seemingly unbeatable Kamaru Usman. Why somehow?

Well, they fought less than a year ago and Kamaru Usman won a comfortable unanimous decision 50-45. Jorge took the fight on short notice, very short notice, and gave an excellent account of himself in there.

Many have said that he was already training hard in case he needed to step in for Gilbert Burns and that theory makes perfect sense to me. He didn’t get tired in the 25-minute fight. I don’t know how you do that if you weren’t already training to go all 5 rounds.

There is no: Oh, let me whip myself into championship rounds-level shape in a week or two. It’s impossible. That tells me that we probably shouldn’t expect much different from Jorge than we saw from him in the first fight.

I think we will certainly see a much improved Kamaru Usman. The time he is putting in with Trevor Wittman in Colorado is priceless. He got to a certain point with Henri Hooft with his Muay Thai but Hooft is not a specialist in applying the sweet science in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Justin Gaethje and especially fellow UFC 261 fighter Thug Rose Namajunas have some of the best striking in their respective divisions and you could argue that Rose is the best boxer in the history of women’s MMA.

They have both worked with Trevor for a long time. Kamaru is made of iron and has a mind even more powerful. He seems to be an excellent student as well. I don’t know if we are going to see this man lose any time soon.

The betting odds provided to us by the good folks over at BetOnline are wide and if we want some value, we probably have to look at either a round total over/under play or possibly a method of victory prop bet.

Kamaru Usman (-425) vs Jorge Masvidal (+325)

Okay, so the moneyline play is out of the question unless you’re taking a shot on the underdog. Jorge is powerful and skilled enough to catch Kamaru and hurt him. I really like Masvidal’s ability to stay calm but still follow his killer instinct to get the finish but you’re betting on Kamaru Usman getting knocked out and that is something that has never happened.

History does repeat itself and I think it will this Saturday night. I know Kamaru isn’t happy, though, with his clinching and foot stomping win from the first fight. He has said that he wants not just to finish Jorge but he wants to break him.

If you get caught, you just got caught and it is what it is. If you quit, though…that lasts forever.

Masvidal has never quit in there and he seems like one of the hardest guys in the UFC to break. If anyone can do it, it will be Kamaru but I don’t think he will.

He may try but from the first fight, we could see Jorge was winning the exchanges. That is why the champ spent so much time in the clinch. He did what he had to do and don’t think that just because Trevor is his coach, that the game plan will be to get the knockout.

Trevor will tell him to just get behind his jab bending his knees and lowering his level with the punch to avoid the overhand right counter from Gamebred. Usman will use it to press forward, obtain the clinch, and from range, eventually begin to let the straight right hand go.

If Jorge falls, he falls. If he takes the punch and keeps on fighting, then that’s what he does. It is what it is. That is the attitude that Kamaru needs and has seemingly always had anyways. He isn’t going to change his plan or mind and be manipulated by his opponent.

Usman is the type of guy to go out there and do his job and do it nearly perfectly no matter who or what is standing in front of him. This time, it will be a familiar foe and there is no way on earth that Jorge is coming into this fight with more confidence than the champ after a 50-45.

Kamaru is going to walk him down and throw straight shots. The most important thing in this fight for Usman is avoiding the big counter shots of Gamebred.

The two men will both be ready. I just think one fighter is better than the other guy. The books do too, though, so where is our value?

I like Kamaru Usman to finish this one. He is (+355) to get the stoppage win by TKO. Jorge is the combatant here who needs to make adjustments not Kamaru. He is even more prepared to go out on his sword this time and Masvidal is going to have to let his hands go.

I think he is going to run into a stiff one from the champion and from there, get finished by some high-flying hammer fists.

The Bet
Usman by TKO

In Conclusion

Okay, guys. There is your main event breakdown. It isn’t that complicated. We saw these two men fight before and it was just 9 months ago.

How much better can a 36-year-old who has been doing this for 15 years get in less than a year? Is he all of a sudden going to learn some ancient secret? No. He is going to try even harder to knock out the champ.

I say this because he knows that is his only route to victory. He isn’t going to out grapple the guy or even out score him. Kamaru Usman could walk into a nasty shot himself but I just think the man is made of iron.

Everything from his facial structure to his body illustrates the prototype for a Welterweight World Champion.

I love Jorge, though, and as a fan, I would love to see him get the win here but Usman is that much better than everyone else and Jorge has some miles adding up and will soon be in his late 30s.

The question is how will Kamaru win? A decision is the most likely possibility, yes, but the betting odds have it at (-140). This is a 25-minute fight and every round starts on the feet. If Usman was just (+170) or something to get a TKO, then I don’t think it would be worth it.

He is (+355), though, at 5dimes I think that is an incredible price. You can just bet half of a unit without a ton of risk. Get those bets in and enjoy UFC 261 this Saturday night from Jacksonville.

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.

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