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UFC 261 prelims betting picks & best odds – Saturday, April 24

UFC betting

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Usman -384.62 at BetOnline | Masvidal +325 at BetOnline
When Saturday, April 24 – early prelims from 5:45pm ET
Where VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, Florida
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass, UFC.com

The first packed crowd in nearly a year is upon us as the Ultimate Fighting Championship heads to Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena for UFC 261. Without a doubt the adrenaline will be pumping in the fighters with a full audience present, and that gives bettors something to think about when looking at lines. We are here to help with those tough decisions. Here are our best bets and fight previews for the eight prelim fights at UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2.


Liang Na (+175) vs Ariane Carnelossi (-204.08)

The first fight of the prelim card features two young strawweights in Liang Na (13-4, 0-0 UFC) and Ariane Carnelossi (12-2, 0-1 UFC). Na is brand new to the UFC and Carnelossi has only one UFC bout under her belt back in 2019 where she was defeated, so each has much to prove in the promotion. The two fighters have an impressive combined 20 finishes on their careers, so inside the distance looks a nice play in this spot. Each fighter will try to get to their area for success, which is boxing range for Carnelossi and ground exchanges for Na. We think that Carnelossi will be unaffected from the layoff and finish the fight at plus money.

Ariane Carnelossi inside the distance

+125
@
BetOnline

Aori Qileng (-109.89) vs Jeff Molina (-109.89)

Our second bout of the evening is a flyweight scrap between Aori Qileng (18-6, 0-0 UFC) and Jeff Molina (8-2, 0-0 UFC). With both men making their UFC debut in front of a full crowd, this should be a good one. Both are fundamentally sound, with Qileng having more octagon experience professionally, yet the fight remains as a pick em’ with UFC bookmakers. Qileng has the tools to finish the fight, and even though most of his bouts have ended by decision, three of his last four ended inside the distance. He needs to make Molina uncomfortable and change the pace to have success in this one. Molina has sneaky high kicks and a confident ground game. He has to pick his moments in this fight, and if he can maintain space with his striking, it’s his to lose. We like Molina straight up here.

Jeff Molina to win

-109.89
@
BetOnline

Kazula Vargas (+215) vs Rong Zhu (-256.41)

Our third fight is a lightweight bout featuring Kazula Vargas (11-4, 0-2 UFC) looking to break a two-fight skid against Rong Zhu (16-3, 0-0 UFC). Zhu is the rightful favorite here, as he is riding a 10-fight win streak where he has finished nine of his opponents. Vargas is 14 years older than the challenger and is working to get his first win in the UFC. He is a southpaw fighter who can shut the lights out if his punches connect. Zhu is just 21 years of age and has a lot of hype behind him. It is hard to veer from him winning inside the distance.

Rong Zhu inside the distance

-114.94
@
BetOnline

Danaa Batgerel (-178.57) vs Kevin Natividad (+155)

The fourth fight of the night brings together Dana Batgerel (8-2, 1-1 UFC) and Kevin Natividad (9-2, 0-1 UFC). Both are former featherweights turned bantamweights. Natividad is a more patient fighter, while Batgerel likes to take advantage of the center of the cage and land strikes often. We believe the key to success for Natividad will be to use his jiu-jitsu, whereas Batgerel will want to keep the fight on the feet and in space. Although looking at past fights can fail as a barometer, we believe that Batgerel is hitting a stride and will continue his winning ways in this one thanks to his speed and precision.

Danaa Batgerel to win

-178.57
@
BetOnline

Patrick Sabatini (-227.27) vs Tristan Connelly (+190)

The fight that starts the prelim card on ESPN and ESPN+ features Patrick Sabatini (13-3, 0-0 UFC) debuting against Tristan Connelly (14-6, 1-0 UFC). This could be a grappling fan’s favorite fight of the night, as both men are quite skilled on the ground with 18 submission victories split evenly between them. Both are on win streaks, with Sabatini last fighting in December of 2020 and Connelly in September of 2019. It seems like Sabatini’s long layoff was due to injury, so this comeback fight will show where he stands after taking time off on a five-fight win streak. This one should come down to little details and who can execute their moves better. We believe Connelly has the tools to pull off the upset.

Tristan Connelly to win

+190
@
BetOnline

Karl Roberson (+126) vs Brendan Allen (-147.06)

Both Karl Roberson (9-2, 4-3 UFC) and Brendan Allen (15-4, 3-1 UFC) are coming off losses to respected middleweight fighters, so the talent of each must remain appreciated. Allen is a talented jiu-jitsu artist who is still developing his striking, and Roberson is a sound kickboxer who can finish the fight on the feet or on the ground. Roberson’s key to success is to compete with Allen if the fight hits on the ground, but the less time he’s there, the better, in our opinion. We like Roberson to spring the upset.

Karl Roberson to win

+126
@
BetOnline

Dwight Grant (-208.33) vs Stefan Sekulic (+180)

The penultimate prelim bout features fellow welterweights Dwight Grant (10-3, 2-2 UFC) and Stefan Sekulic (12-3, 0-1 UFC). Sekulic is making his return to the octagon for the first time since September of 2018. Ring rust may be an issue for the Serbian fighter, but he is still seven years younger than his opponent. Grant is a kickboxer who can swarm his opponents when they least expect it, while Sekulic is a more patient fighter who takes his shots after his competition makes a mistake. We like Grant in this spot, as Sekulic’s time off may prove to be an issue. Take a look at the overs on 2.5 rounds here as well.

Dwight Grant to win

-208.33
@
BetOnline

Alex Oliveira (+125) vs Randy Brown (-144.93)

The final bout leading into the UFC 261 main card features Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira (22-9-1, 11-7 UFC) and Randy “Rude Boy” Brown (12-4, 6-4 UFC). Both fighters have longer UFC resumes than most – if not all – fighters on the prelim card, and each is looking to right the track and start a winning streak. For starters, we like this to end inside the distance, as having fans back in the arena should spark some heavy exchanges between these two welterweights. Both fighters are impressive on the feet, with 18 KO/TKO finishes shared between them, but we think the difference will come in the clinch. Brown should have an edge on Oliveira in this department, which is why we are leaning to the favorite for the win.

Fight will not go the distance

-109.89
@
BetOnline
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