UFC 261 takes place this weekend at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. It’ll be the promotion’s first event with live fans in more than 13 months. The lucky fans who snapped up tickets for UFC 261 will have the pleasure of watching three title fights.
The UFC 261 undercard is stacked with a bunch of epic fights. Join LowKickMMA as we preview, predict, and hopefully win some money on these fights. If you’re having a bet this weekend, check out this information about the best online betting sites.
Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute
Former light-heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith is as game as they come. ‘Lionheart’ is content fighting lower ranked guys as he works his way back into contention after back-to-back losses. He looked great last time out as he made quick work of Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 15. Despite that, he’s an underdog heading into this fight. The bookmakers have him at odds of +163 against Jimmy Crute who is the -188 favourite. The Australian fighter appears to be the next big thing at 205lbs. At 25-years-old he already holds four UFC wins and has beaten the likes of Paul Craig and Sam Alvey. For us, this is a significant step up in competition. That’s why we’ll backing the veteran, Smith, to pull off the upset win at UFC 261.
This fight is a rematch 11 years in the making. Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman previously squared off in 2010 for the Ring of Combat middleweight title. On that occasion Weidman stopped Hall inside one round to stretch his professional MMA record to 3-0. Hall dropped to 4-1. Since then, the ‘All American’ has gone on to claim UFC gold by becoming the first man to beat Anderson Silva inside the Octagon. Hall’s rise to the top has been less glamourous and has involved several hiccups along the way. Despite this, ‘Primetime’ has picked up several high profiles wins throughout his career over the likes of Aung La Nsang, Chris Leben, Gegard Mousasi and Anderson Silva. The bookmakers make him the +100 underdog and we tend to agree. A man of clear talent, Hall has failed to live up to his potential. As of late he appears to be shot shy and even struggled against ‘The Spider’ who was done at UFC level by the time they fought in October 2020. Weidman’s recent form has been worrying. He managed to get back in the win column last time out but failed to impress against Omari Ahkmedov. He’s the -125 favourite. We will be betting on him but would advise anyone else who’s thinking about betting on this fight to approach with caution.
Alex Oliveira vs. Randy Brown
In the featured preliminary bout, we have an exciting welterweight match-up between Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira and Randy Brown. The Brazilian won two fights in 2020 but slipped up in his final bout of the year. Brown fought only once last year and fell short against Vicente Luque. Prior to that, the 30-year-old appeared to be on the cusp of achieving big things in the UFC. Ahead of the bout, Brown has been made the -160 favourite. Oliveira is the underdog at +130. We tend to agree with the oddsmakers. Brown has looked good and beaten a similar level of competition in recent years. ‘Rude Boy’ has only come unstuck when he’s stepped up to elite level. At this stage of his career Oliveira cannot be considered elite level. For that reason, we are backing Brown to emerge victorious in the UFC 261 featured prelim.
Karl Roberson vs. Brendan Allen
Our final UFC 261 pick comes in this intriguing middleweight match-up. Karl Roberson will be hoping to bounce back from his submission loss to Marvin Vettori this coming weekend. The 30-year-olds record is littered with high level wins over the likes of Ryan Spann and Darren Stewart. Despite this, Roberson finds himself the underdog at +138. In our opinion this is the right call from the oddsmakers. Allen, the -163 favourite, has all the tools it takes to beat Roberson who has been out grappled and submitted in all three of his professional defeats. We are predicting Allen will become the fourth man to tap out Roberson and will be betting on his to get the stoppage at +120.