UFC 261: How, when and where to watch Kamaru Usman face Jorge Masvidal

Jack Baer
·3-min read

Jorge Masvidal is getting his second shot at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV), and that's just one of three title fights scheduled for UFC 261.

The UFC welterweight, women's strawweight and women's flyweight titles will all be on the line in Jacksonville, Florida, with Valentina Shevchenko and Zhang Weili also defending their belts. That's probably not what UFC president Dana White is most excited about, though. 

[New ESPN+ members can bundle UFC 261 with one year of ESPN+ for $89.98]

For the first time in more than a year, UFC fighters will compete in front of fans on American soil. White announced last month that the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will open at full capacity. Before the announcement, the only way to attend a UFC event in person had been to book a trip to Abu Dhabi, where three events allowed in 2,000-2,600 fans in January. The last time UFC had spectators in America UFC 248 on March 7, 2020.

Here's what you need to know to watch the event:

Where will UFC 261 be available on pay-per-view?

As usual, the UFC 261 main card will be aired via pay-per-view on ESPN+. This one will run you $69.99 if you're an existing ESPN+ subscriber, otherwise you can bundle in a yearly subscription to ESPN+ for $89.98.

The early prelims for the event will be available on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims will be televised on ESPN and streamed through ESPN+ (no pay-per-view necessary).

When does UFC 261 start?

The main card for UFC 261 is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. PT. Before that, the early prelims will begin at 2:45 p.m. PT, while the prelims will begin at 5 p.m. PT.

The full UFC 261 card

Here's the full main card for UFC 261, beginning with light heavyweight stalwart Anthony Smith and ending with a highly anticipated rematch between Masvidal and Usman.

  • Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute (light heavyweight)

  • Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman (middleweight)

  • Valentina Shevchenko (C) vs. Jessica Andrade (flyweight)

  • Zhang Weili (C) vs. Rose Namajunas (strawweight)

  • Kamaru Usman (C) vs. Jorge Masvidal) (welterweight)

Who's favored in UFC 261?

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 12: In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jorge Masvidal had few answers for Kamaru Usman in their first go-around. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

BetMGM currently has Usman as a heavy favorite to repeat his win over Masvidal, giving Usman -400 odds and Masvidal +310. Usman dominated Masvidal throughout their last meeting at UFC 251 in July 2020, though Masvidal was fighting on less than a week's notice after Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19. Usman has since defeated Burns at UFC 258.

A win for Usman would further cement him as one the UFC's top pound-for-pound fighters, as well as the best welterweight this side of Georges St-Pierre. Masvidal remains one of the most popular fighters in MMA, and is one win over Usman away from full stardom.

As for the other title fights, both champions are also favored, but to different degrees. 

Shevchenko, on her fifth title defense, is -500 against Andrade (+375), who previously held the strawweight crown before losing it to Zhang. The Brazilian underdog made her flyweight debut against Katlyn Chookagian last October, winning via first-round TKO.

Zhang will face a formidable opponent in Namajunas, who was the previous owner of the strawweight crown until she lost to Andrade. The 21-1 Zhang is -200 to win, while Namajunas sits at +170.

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