UFC 261 | Three Title Fights & A Crowd in Attendance!

What a fight card this is. You really won’t want to miss UFC 261.

UFC Title Belt

This weekend, UFC will have fans in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida – a new venue to host UFC events to accommodate the attending spectators.

It’s looking like UFC 261 will be the first ‘normal’ sporting event in what seems like forever, with a full capacity crowd there to watch a stacked fight card.

UFC President Dana White confirmed that 15,000 will be able to attend in Jacksonville. All the excited fans will get to see the UFC welterweight, women’s strawweight & women’s flyweight belts put on the line on the night.

UFC

A Full Capacity Crowd? Surely Not…

You better believe it. Now the world is looking to get back to normal, one thing a lot of people around the world have missed is attending live events. It’s not just UFC – football fans, rugby fans, boxing fans – pretty much every sport has missed spectators over the course of the last 12 months.

However, the UFC are the first sports promotion to have a full capacity crowd for UFC 261, with the relocation to Jacksonville, Florida. As you may remember, UFC have had a couple of different venues hosting their events, most notably their ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, over the last year just to keep the fights on.

Now, it’s the return of the crowds, and thousands will be able to witness arguably the best UFC fight card of the year. In the words of Dana White: “Ladies and gentlemen – we are back!”.

Jacksonville Florida

Main Event – Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2

The fierce rivalry will be renewed as ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal challenges ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for the UFC welterweight title. The rematch is definitely a highly-anticipated clash, as both are two of the best welterweight fighters around.

You may remember that in the midst of the pandemic last summer, at UFC 251 in Fight Island, these two clashed in the octagon for the first time. Masvidal was not supposed to be part of the main event, but stepped in just nine days before the fight.

Originally, Brazilian welterweight Gilbert Burns was supposed to go toe-to-toe with Usman, but a positive coronavirus test in his training camp meant Burns had to drop out. With just over a week to prepare, up stepped Jorge Masvidal.

The fight went the distance, with Usman victorious via unanimous decision. Fast forward to this Saturday, Masvidal has had more time to prepare and will definitely be more fight-ready. Expect an incredible battle.

Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas

The co-main event of the night features women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang defend her UFC title against Rose ‘Thug’ Namajunas.

Zhang will have her biggest test at the weekend since she claimed the strawweight title at UFC Fight Night 157 back in August 2019. However, Zhang has only lost once in her UFC career – her first ever fight in the octagon back in October 2013. In other words, she’s on a 20-fight winning streak.

Meanwhile, the Thug will be looking to reclaim the strawweight title, after her run as title holder between 2017 and 2019. Namajunas last fought on the undercard of UFC 251 – which was also headlined by Usman & Masvidal.

Rose Namajunas

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade

In what will be the first title fight we see on the night, flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will face challenger Jessica Andrade.

Shevchenko has been flyweight champion since 2018, defending her UFC belt four times in the octagon between then and now. This will be the fifth time someone has challenged her, but Shevchenko will be wanting the same outcome as the previous fights.

It is worth pointing out that Jessica Andrade is the only women’s fighter in UFC history to win in three different weight divisions, and will definitely have some confidence heading into UFC 261. However, she will need to overcome the odds to defeat the current flyweight champion.

Valentina Shevchenko

Who Do You Think Will Win at UFC 261?

Will there be an upset on April 24? Will all three champions retain their titles? Let us know what you think via our Twitter – @Betting_couk!

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