The UFC has been on fire since its return from the pandemic layoff. UFC 251 is set to raise the bar on Fight Island.
In the main event welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title against challenger Gilbert Burns. In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski takes on veteran Max Holloway in a rematch of their 2019 showdown. That’s not all. Also on fighting on Fight Island are Petr Yan and former 145-pound champion Jose Aldo who throw down for the vacant bantamweight title.
Last, but not least, the UFC 251 main card will also include a women’s strawweight rematch between former champions Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, along with a second 115-pound bout between Paige VanZant and Amanda Ribas.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the top UFC 251 fights and the betting odds for the fighters.
UFC 251 Fight Island Odds
Kamaru Usman (16-1) vs. Gilbert Burns (19-3)
- Gilbert Burns +180
- Kamaru Usman -210
33-year-old Brazilian Gilbert Burns is back in the octagon less than a month after beating Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision in their Fight Night showdown on May 30. Burns is a pretty well-rounded fighter that has recorded six wins via KO, eight via submission and five by way of decision.
For his effort, Burns will face reigning welterweight champ Kamaru Usman who took out Colby Covington via fifth round TKO (punches) at UFC 245 in December. The 33-year-old Nigerian native has won 15 straight fights dating back to 2013 and is the clear-cut favorite in this affair, particularly seeing as how Burns is making an incredibly quick showing after going the distance just a few weeks ago.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway (21-9)
- Max Holloway +150
- Alexander Volkanovski -170
28-year-old Hawaiian Max Holloway is a former featherweight champ, but he’s dropped two of his last three fights including a unanimous decision loss against the 31-year-old Alexander Volkanovski at their UFC 245 championship bout in December. For his part, Volkanovski has won a phenomenal 18 consecutive fights, although he hasn’t faced many ‘big name’ fighters along the way. Holloway had successfully defended the featherweight championship three times and he put up a great effort in their first fight before failing to get the decision. Make no mistake about it, this pairing could easily be the most competitive fight on the entire UFC 251 card.
Petr Yan (14-1) vs. Jose Aldo (28-6)
- Jose Aldo +250
- Petr Yan -300
33-year-old Brazilian Jose Aldo will be relatively desperate to get back in the win column after losing his last two fights including a stunning split decision loss against the unheralded Marlon Morales at UFC 245 in December. Let it be known that Aldo has lost four of his last six fights overall with two of those defeats coming to Max Holloway via TKO’s (punches). 27-year-old Russian Petr Yan has won nine straight fights including a brutal third round KO (head kick) of former champion Urijah Faber at UFC 245 in December.
While Aldo is still in his prime, he also has the look of a fading fighter while Yan has been on fire for quite some time, although the list of fighters he’s faced over his last nine bouts doesn’t include any household names outside of the aging Faber.
Rose Namajunas (8-4) vs. Jessica Andrade (20-7)
- Jessica Andrade +175
- Rose Namajunas -200
28-year-old Brazilian Jessica Andrade had her four-fight winning streak snapped in her stunning first round TKO (knees and punches) loss to reigning strawweight champ Zhang Weili at their Fight Night matchup in August. The good news is that she beat Namajunas for the strawweight title in May of last year at UFC 237 with the win coming by way of a vicious KO (slam) in the second round.
27-year-old Milwaukee native Rose Namajunas had her three-fight winning streak snapped while losing the strawweight title against Andrade in her last bout. While Namajunas has age her on her side (slightly) she’s facing an uphill battle to take out an opponent that completely dominated her when they last met.
Paige VanZant (8-4) vs. Amanda Ribas (9-1)
- Paige VanZant +310
- Amanda Ribas -390
26-year-old Oregon native Paige VanZant got back in the win column by beating Rachael Ostovich via second round submission (armbar) at the UFC Fight Night matchup in January. VanZant had lost three of four before that bout and is really more well-known for her good looks than her actual fighting ability. 27-year-old Brazilian Amanda Ribas has won four straight bouts since suffering her only career loss back in 2015. Ribas took out Randa Markos at their UFC Fight Night matchup via unanimous decision in March. Along with the Holloway and Volkanovski matchup, this bout could be the most competitive on the entire UFC 251 card.