Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal will rematch for the welterweight title in fron of a live crowd tonight at UFC 261.
For fans making the trek, don’t forget to check out the Fan Experience from 1-5 p.m. ET.
— UFC (@ufc) April 24, 2021
All 26 fighters made weight and are ready to go. Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (5:45PM ET/2:45PM PT)
NA LIANG (15-4-0) VS. ARIANE CARNELOSSI (12-2-0)
Andrews: Liang will be making her debut. Carnelossi looks good on paper but I think the reach and striking of Liang will overcome her.
Andrews Prediction: Na Liang via UD
QILENG AORI (18-7-0) VS. JEFF MOLINA (8-2-0)
Andrews: A Chinese prodigy being welcomed by a DWCS alum. Should be good.
Andrews Prediction: Qileng Aori via UD
KAZULA VARGAS (11-4-0) VS. ZHU RONG (17-3-0)
Andrews: Vargas has struggled recently but gets a chance to welcome a Chinese prodigy. Rong makes a statement in his UFC debut.
Andrews Prediction: Zhu Rong via TKO
DANAA BATGEREL (8-2-0) VS. KEVIN NATVIDAD (9-2-0)
Andrews: Betgereal avoids the power and grinds out the win.
Andrews Prediction: Danaa Batgerel via UD
UFC 261 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
PATRICK SABATINI (13-3-0) VS. TRISTAN CONNELLY (14-6-0)
Andrews: Sabataini is five years younger, but other than that this should be a good one. Both like to go to the ground for the tap, so will that cancel out and provide a striking battle? I think Connelly will make sure he gets the tap.
Andrews Prediction: Tristan Connelly via submission
KARL ROBERSON (12-3-0) VS. BRENDAN ALLEN (15-4-0)
Andrews: Roberson has apparently recovered from his illness, but Allen is a big task if he is not in shape. Allen has a win over Kevin Holland and has won seven of his last eight bouts.
Andrews Prediction: Brendan Allen via UD
DWIGHT GRANT (10-3-0) VS. STEFAN SEKULIC (12-1-0)
Andrews: The Body Snatcher gets another one in Florida.
Andrews Prediction: Dwight Grant via TKO
ALEX OLIVEIRA (22-9-0, 2NC) VS. RANDY BROWN (12-4-0)
Andrews: Cowboy is always rough and tumble, so I do think he gets the better of Brown here. Randy will start off fast though.
Andrews Prediction: Alex Oliveira via submission
UFC 261 MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#6 ANTHONY SMITH (34-16-0) VS. #13 JIMMY CRUTE (12-1-0)
Andrews: Smith has done better recently but I think Jimmy can win this one if he can soften up Smith, which he will.
Andrews Prediction: Jimmy Crute via TKO
#9 URIAH HALL (16-9-0) VS. #11 CHRIS WEIDMAN (15-5-0)
Andrews: The first bout between this guys was 11 years ago, so that doesn’t matter much. But unless Hall gets super aggressive, he should be outgunned by even an older Weidman.
Andrews Prediction: Chris Weidman via TKO
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (20-3-0) VS. #1 JESSICA ANDRADE (21-8-0)
Andrews: Unless can hurt Shevchenko or get a takedown, the striking of Shevchenko should be enough to get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko via UD
ZHANG WEILI (21-1-0) VS. #1 ROSE NAMAJUNAS (9-4-0)
Andrews: Rose upset Joanna at UFC 217 and again at UFC 223, so I would not be surprised if she can land her striking again. But Weili is tougher than Joanna Champion and will hit harder, so Rose will likely try to get the fight to the ground. But I have to give the edge to the champion.
Andrews Prediction: Zhang Weili via UD
KAMARU USMAN (18-1-0) VS. #4 JORGE MASVIDAL (35-14-0)
Andrews: Usman should be even more prepared for an improved Masvidal than the first fight. He has to avoid trading in a firefight, get the fight to the ground and use his grappling. Masvidal if he can land early can force Usman to stand and then he has the advantage. Usman will stick to his game plan and after some early trouble, grind out the win.
Andrews Prediction: Kamaru Usman via UD