UFC 251 Betting Tips

UFC 251
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 11: (L-R) Jessica Andrade of Brazil and Rose Namajunas of USA in action in their women's strawweight championship bout during the UFC 237 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 11, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

UFC fight island shall make its long-awaited debut in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, next weekend. Unfortunately, Gilbert Burns has been ruled out of his welterweight title bout against the defending Kamaru Usman due to a coronavirus diagnosis. Despite this, there are plenty of viable UFC 251 betting tips that should help ease the pandemic’s impact on punters pockets. As there is a lack of attractive underdog picks for the card one large parlay on favourites shall be suggested this week.

UFC 251 Betting Tips

Petr Yan (-235), Rose Namajunas (-190) &

Alexander Volkanovski (-240) to win

No Mercy

Jose Aldo (28-6) will look to pull off one of the greatest career comebacks in UFC history by beating Petr Yan (14-1) to become a two-weight UFC champion. Aldo is on a two-fight skid and considering the calibre of his opponent, there is every chance that shall be extended to three fights come UFC 251.

Ever since he joined the UFC, Petr Yan has been a problem for the entire bantamweight division. It’s hard to identify a clear weakness in Yan’s game, particularly considering his ability to make reads and subsequent adjustments throughout his fights. Yan is an overwhelming presence in the octagon who’s excellent striking is beautifully complimented his clinch throws. For Aldo, it is imperative that he disrupts Yan’s rhythm right from the offset of the fight by utilising combination counters.

A prime Jose Aldo would have been a completely different proposition. Although looking good on his bantamweight debut against Marlon Moraes, Aldo’s age is undoubtedly catching up to him. The Brazillian’s defensive reactions were noticeably slower and Yan’s relentless cardio will likely pay dividends in the championship rounds. In order to win this bout, Aldo must ensure that he utilises his jab and lead hook, which Yan looked slightly vulnerable to in his bout vs Urijah Faber. He must also avoid being drawn into a firefight with the younger, more durable man. However, it is very likely that the Brazilian’s efforts shall be in vain, with Yan being an excellent pick for this title fight.

Fool me twice…

In May 2019, Jessica Andrade (20-7) dethroned the strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (8-4) via freak knockout. After looking very impressive all fight, Namajunas was slammed on her head by Andrade and was knocked out cold. After considering retirement after the loss, a rejuvenated Namajunas is now ready to take her revenge.

When assessing their first fight there are plenty of reasons to back “Thug Rose” in the rematch. Despite losing, Namajunas looked comfortable throughout the fight and was able to avoid any significant strikes from the incredibly powerful Andrade. Namajunas’ striking has developed leaps and bounds, as demonstrated by her phenomenal two victories over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and judging by the first fight she should be able to contain Andrade’s offence by staying patient and committing to counters.

If the fight remains standing Andrade will be confident that she will be able to knock Namajunas out at any moment, much like her unorthodox slam first time round. However, if Namajunas is able to land a takedown it is hard to envisage anything other than a long night for Andrade. Namajunas has a slick ground game, with five of her eight wins coming by way of submission, and has shown fantastic cardio in all of her championship fights. Considering this one will be a three-rounder, Namajunas should be able to maintain a steady pace throughout the fight and avenge the sole knockout loss of her career.

Lessons learnt… or not

Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) put on a masterful performance at UFC 245 to rip featherweight gold away from Max Holloway (21-5), who was regarded as one of the top P4P fighters in the UFC. In the first bout, Volkanovski prevented Holloway from gaining momentum and utilising high-volume pressure striking through a series of leg kicks and hand-fighting. Although styles make fights, comments made outside of the octagon have proven most interesting in the leadup to this bout.

In a telling interview with Ariel Helwani, Max Holloway made several admissions about his preparation for the rematch which worried the MMA community. Holloway revealed that he had not seen his coaches for months and that he had had no training partners for the entirety of his camp. All of Hollways training was done via zoom calls, which is hardly an ideal way to prepare for one of the most important fights of his career. Although ‘Blessed’ described the camp as “one of the best camps I’ve ever had”, it is hard to imagine that this will translate into a positive performance.

What is even more alarming for fans of the Hawaiin is the fact that Holloway refused to accept that Volkanovski’s leg kicks were a deciding factor in the first fight. Although there is a slight chance that this is all mind games, considering the fact that Holloway is as genuine as a fighter can get, it is unlikely that this is the case. It is impossible to rule Holloway out of this bout due to the fact that he is one of the best fighters who has ever graced the octagon, but a lack of preparation means that picking Volkanovski for this title-fight is certainly a smart mention for any UFC 251 betting tips.

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