If you ever had any doubt that UFC would actually host a Fight Island, you won't anymore. It is happening. Like, actually happening. The Fight Island series begins on July 11, with the headlining bout between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns and another two championship tilts. And if you're in the market to make some money off this huge event, you're in luck. We've got all the analysis and predictions you could ever need.
|Kamaru Usman||-185||+220||Gilbert Burns|
|Alexander Volkanovski||-205||+120||Max Holloway|
|Petr Yan||-230||-190||Jose Aldo|
|Rose Namajunas||-141||+165||Jessica Andrade|
|Amanda Ribas||-850||+525||Paige VanZant|
Make sure you double-check these UFC 251 odds before deciding on any wagers. They can and will shift before the opening bell. For now, stick with us as we cover all of the following:
- Odds for top UFC 251 fights
- Analysis of Usman vs. Burns
- Insight into Volkanovski vs. Holloway
- Breakdown of Yan vs. Aldo
- Predictions for every major fight
UFC 251 Betting Breakdown
Let's have a look at the main fights for the UFC 251 event.
Kamaru Usman (-185) vs. Gilbert Burns (+220)
The welterweight title is on the line in this main-event matchup between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns. The former will be making his second title defense while concurrently riding a 15-fight winning streak.
Usman is a chore for his opponents to handle because he sports the rare combination of unrelenting speed and unyielding stamina. He likes to go on the offensive and push the tempo of his fights, something many sparrers will do. But he distinguishes himself with a unique ability to hold breakneck paces for long periods of time. Where some high-octane fighters can peter out in later rounds, he is ready and able to keep swinging for the duration of an entire clash.
It almost feels like oddsmakers aren't giving Usman enough of an advantage, which could be a potential market inefficiency for bettors ready to pounce on undervalued favorites. Then again, Burns is hardly a joke himself.
He is riding a six-fight winning streak, which includes four consecutive victories since moving from the lightweight to the welterweight division. This kind of transition is truly impressive. Burns has made the jump without sacrificing any of his power advantages. He's the type of fighter who can end an entire match in just seconds.
Still, Usman is the more well-rounded and established talent here. We like him to hold onto his welterweight belt.
OSB Prediction: Kamaru Usman (-185)
Alexander Volkanovski (-205) vs. Max Halloway (+120)
This is a matchup all UFC fans have been waiting for. Back when Max Holloway first fought in the featherweight division, he was riding an 18-match winning streak that only came to a stop in 2013 when he lost to...Alexander Volkanovski.
Both fighters are now coming full circle. Holloway is back in the featherweight division and looking to reclaim his title. Volkanovski, meanwhile, has enjoyed a prolonged stretch of relative dominance. Opponents have trouble battling against his "the dirtier, the better" fighting style. He lives for grappling and capitalizing on tight spaces.
On the flip side, Holloway plays a much different game. He is almost exclusively someone who is best served on his feet, upright, so that he can strike opponents with blinding speed. His average of 6.99 strikes per minute is absolutely ridiculous.
While we can't ignore how well Volkanovski has fared, we're inclined to give this co-main event to Holloway—though it's definitely a risk, and you should definitely expect this fight to go the distance.
OSB Prediction: Max Holloway (+120)
Petr Yan (-230) vs. Gilbert Burns (+190)
In what will be something of a third main event(!), Petr Yan will be putting his bantamweight belt up for grabs against Gilbert Burns. Though the latter is working on a two-fight losing streak, his aggressive style makes him a tough matchup for anyone.
Burns will exhaust opponents by putting them on the defensive from the opening bell. He lives for quick strikes, and he uses deceptive foot stances to almost shepherd his opponents into the nooks and crannies of the octagon.
Even with all of this in mind, Yan is still too well-rounded a fighter for us to pick against him. He has a background is both mixed martial arts and boxing, so he's prepared even when his opponent dictates the terms of engagement. Look for him to focus on bringing Burns to the floor, where he has a decided functional advantage.
OSB Prediction Petr (-230)
Rose Namajunas (-205) vs. Jessica Andrade (+165)
Are oddsmakers being too generous with their line for Jessica Andrade? We think so.
Rose Namajunas has honed her craft over the past few years to a near-unfathomable degree. She stil has chops to grapple and win by submission—five of her first eight career wins came by submission—but she's added more variance to her bag that includes better stand-up power and accuracy.
OSB Prediction: Rose Namajunas (-205)
Amanda Ribas (-850) vs. Paige VanZant (+525)
Amanda Ribas will have her work cut out for as she puts her undefeated record on the line against Paige VanZant.
VanZant is an extremely strong and savvy striker. She's not the quickest, but what she lacks in speed she makes up for with spot selection. One strike from her can bring you to the floor.
And yet, we're skeptical she'll be much of a match for Ribas, whose blend of length and power is pretty much unprecedented. She disarms opponents with long and accurate punches and kicks, which not only makes it impossible to play effective defense but also complicates any attempts from her rivals (in this case VanZant) to go on the offensive.
OSB Prediction: Amanda Ribas (-850)