UFC 251 Fight Island Yas Island Abu Dhabi

UFC 251 betting tips: Crazy opening Fight Island card with 3 title bouts!

UFC 251 is first of four confirmed cards on the Abu Dhabi Yas Island, known as Fight Island for this month. We look ahead at all three title bouts on this stacked UFC card from the middle east.

UFC 251 Main Event: Kamaru Usman (Nigeria) vs Jorge Masvidal (USA)

The UFC 251 Main Event features a Welterweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. It is the last of three title fights in the opening card on UFC Fight Island.

Usman (16-1)

The Welterweight Champion will welcome a new challenger to the Fight Island octagon in Jorge Masvidal. Usman’s original opponent and teammate Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and the Brazilian’s momentum comes to an unfortunate halt. However, Usman and Masvidal were destined to meet each other after the back-and-forth beef. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in the UFC and confidently believes he will remain the greatest Welterweight on the planet.

At the end of last year, Usman made his first title defence against Colby Covington, stopping “Chaos” the in the fifth. He changed camps as he was expecting to face Burns and he will hope his new camp will be able to adapt to fighting Masvidal. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has took advice from Daniel Cormier last week, and revealed that he wants to expose his new opponent for what he is as 4/11* favourite.

Masvidal (35-13)

What a crazy turnaround it is for the Miami born fighter. The BMF made the decision that, on six days’ notice, he would take this huge bout. The 35-year-old now gets a shot at the belt after causing Dana White issues this year. Gamebred is confident of a fast knockout against the champ and says he has prepared for a bout with Usman for weeks. The active fighter is yet to fight this year, but is on a three-fight winning streak after epic wins over Darren Till, Nate Diaz and landing the fastest knockout in UFC history against Ben Askren.

Taking a fight like this on such brief notice, with all the logistical adjustments, would make a win for the 21/10* underdog extremely impressive.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Wednesday 8th July) and subject to change

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UFC 251 Co-Main Event: Alexander Volkanovski (Australia) vs Max Holloway (USA)

The UFC 251 Co-Main Event sees a rematch between current Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and former champ Max Holloway. In their last bout, Volkanovski secured a win by unanimous decision back in December 2019 to secure the belt.

Volkanovski (21-1)

A first title defence for the Australian will come against the same opponent he took the belt from in Max Holloway. Alexander Volkanovski’s rise to the top has seen him defeat the likes of Chad Mendes and fellow UFC 251 title contender Jose Aldo. Just like Usman, Alexander Volkanovski only has a single defeat on his professional MMA record which was all the way back in 2013. After dominating in organisations such as the Australian Fighting Championship, “The Great” made his UFC debut in 2016 and has not looked back since.

He out struck Holloway in the last bout and will look to be the more active fighter in this bout once again. He has eight consecutive wins in the UFC and is a 4/9* favourite to secure his first title defence.

Holloway (21-5)

Hawaii born Max Holloway can look to get his belt back with his first bout back since the defeat to Volkanovski. According to the former champion, he never asked for a rematch and says that it was his opponent’s idea. His legacy is on the line at UFC 251 however, and another defeat here could hamper his chances of ever reclaiming the belt once again after holding it for so long. “Blessed” has lost two of his last three fights now, after also losing to Dustin Poirier, who recently defeated Dan Hooker in the final card held at UFC APEX last month.

The 28-year-old will need to avoid Volanovski’s low kicks this time round and is a 7/4* underdog to attain the Featherweight belt again.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Wednesday 8th July) and subject to change

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UFC 251 Title Bout: Petr Yan (Russia) vs Jose Aldo (Brazil)

Yan (14-1)

Petr Yan makes just his seventh UFC appearance in the UAE however with Henry Cejudo retiring, the vacant belt needed a new champion. In steps “No Mercy” who is undefeated since making his UFC debut in 2018 against Japanese fighter Teruto Ishihara. Most of his fights to go the distance and that will prepare him to go all five rounds against Jose Aldo. Last time out, the Russian made his biggest statement yet with a knockout victory over Urijah Faber with a clean head kick in the third round. The 27-year-old is a 2/5* favourite to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion.

Aldo (28-6)

The former Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo now has a chance to reclaim the belt with Cejudo retiring. There were questions why Aldo got the call ahead of some other fighters and his recent form makes any argument valid. Casual fans may only recall his early stoppage defeat to a prime Conor McGregor.

Since that defeat, “Junior” has lost to both co-main event fighters Holloway and Volkanovski, as well as Marlon Moraes in his last bout in December 2019. The Brazilian’s decision to move down a division last year did not get off to the best start, and he is a 15/8* underdog to shock the Russian and hold the vacant title.

*Odds as of the time of writing (Wednesday 8th July) and subject to change

Stacked UFC 251 Main Card

Three title fights just is not enough, apparently. Dana White rounds up the UFC 251 main card with two big fights in the Women’s Strawweight and Flyweight divisions. Jessica Andrade will take on former champ Rose Namajunas after the main card opener between Amanda Ribas and the UFC-departing Paige VanZant. Even in prelims have some tasty matchups, including knockout artist Muslim Salikhov takes on Brazilian Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in the Welterweight Division.

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UFC 251 Preliminary Card

Bantamweight: Martin Day vs Davey Grant

Lightweight: Karol Rosa vs Vanessa Melo

Flyweight: Raulian Paiva vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov

Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura vs Alexandr Romanov

Lightweight: Leonardo Santos vs Roman Bogatov

Featherweight: Makwan Amirkhani vs Danny Henry

Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Muslim Salikhov

Light Heavyweight: Volkan Oezdemir vs Jiri Prochazka

UFC 251 Main Card

Women Flyweight: Amanda Ribas vs Paige VanZant

Women Strawweight: Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas

Bantamweight Title (Vacant): Petr Yan vs  Jose Aldo

Featherweight Title: Alexander Volkanovski (C) vs Max Holloway

Welterweight Title: Kamaru Usman (C) vs Jorge Masvidal

Sam’s UFC 251 Betting Tip


*Odds as of the time of writing (Wednesday 8th July) and subject to change

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Sam is an experienced content writer with a history of working in the sports industry. Sam is a media and communication professional with a bachelor's degree focused in Sports Studies.

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