UFC 2021 First Quarter Preview – Part Two

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Our UFC expert takes a look at more of the big fights coming up in the UFC in the early months of 2021.

UFC fighter Alistair Overeem waves to the crowd before a bout

In fact, they’ve announced so many good fights we couldn’t fit our early previews for all of them in one column alone. You can check out Part One right here, which includes the most anticipated fight – Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier – and you can check out Part Two below. Read on!

Alistair Overeem vs Alexander Volkov – UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov – Location TBA – February 6th

UFC kicks off February with a big (and I mean BIG, in every sense of the word) heavyweight matchup between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. These are big boys, with the Reem measuring in at 6’4” and 253 pounds, with Volkov standing 6’7” and weighing in right at the top of the weight limit at 265 pounds.

This is also a big matchup in terms of the top of the heavyweight division, with Overeem currently ranked #5 and Volkov at #6. While both men are highly decorated champions in other big promotions, they have yet to get a taste of the gold in the UFC. While MansionBet doesn’t have a number posted on this fight yet, the big Russian Volkov is currently floating about the internet as a 10/17 favourite. While I’ll do an in depth preview the week of the fight, I’m liking the underdog at 29/20 if he opens on the MansionBet board around this range. I feel, despite his considerable mileage and 40 years on this earth, that Overeem is still a better and smarter fighter than Volkov.

UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman (champion) vs Gilbert Burns – UFC 258 – Location TBA – February 13th

While not officially announced, the UFC Welterweight Championship is expected to be defended at UFC 258, location TBA. Champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Gilbert Burns were originally pencilled in to fight at UFC 251 back in July, before Burns pulled out after coming down with COVID-19. The fight was next expected to go down this past December, but the champ excused himself this time, citing an injury. So, February it is. For now.

The books that have lines for this one posted have the champ at a sizable 5/11 favorite, with money on the challenger bringing you back 41/20. I agree that Usman is the pick to win this one, as he’s too big, too strong, and too good of a wrestler for the BJJ wizard to compete with. But, with The Nigerian Nightmare having only lost once in his career, seven years ago in his second pro fight, the champ is my pick to win pretty much any matchup he’s put in at this point.

UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes (champion) vs Megan Anderson – UFC 259 – Location TBA – March 6th

Speaking of champs being sizable favourites, women’s GOAT Amanda Nunes is currently at 1/10 for her March title defence against Megan Anderson. I agree with this line – Nunes is untouchable, and Anderson isn’t the one that is going to beat her. No one is, to be fair.

While Anderson, standing 6’0” with a 72.5-inch reach, will be the bigger of the two combatants, that is pretty much the only advantage she’ll have once the cage door slams shut. The Aussie hasn’t exactly set the UFC world aflame, going 3-2 in the promotion and having lost both times she’s gotten a step up in competition. However, she is a legit featherweight and is on a two-fight winning streak, which is good enough to get a title shot in the women’s 145-pound division, which really isn’t a division at all.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

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