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UFC 251: Volkanovski vs. Holloway odds, predictions: MMA insider releases surprising fight

Kyle Marley has nailed 12 straight UFC main event picks and just revealed his Holloway vs. Volkanovski predictions.
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The UFC 251 fight card was turned upside down when Gilbert Burns had to bow out because of a positive test for COVID-19 shortly before the combatants headed to Fight Island to prepare for the July 11 event. But it’s a testament to the strength of the UFC 251 card that Dana White can slide a featherweight title bout between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski into the spotlight for now. Volkanovski is the current champion in the class, while Holloway is the No. 1 contender. Kamaru Usman could also face an alternate opponent in the main event, according to reports.

The latest Volkanovski vs. Holloway odds from William Hill list the current champion at -220 (risk $220 to win $100), while Holloway is getting +180 (risk $100 to win $180), according to the latest UFC 251 odds. There’s also a bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo on the UFC Fight Island card, with Yan going off at -230 and Aldo getting +190 in the current UFC odds. Before locking in your UFC 251 picks, make sure to see the UFC predictions from SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley

The accomplished MMA analyst has been on fire, as he has hit 12 consecutive main event winners. Last week, he told SportsLine members to expect Dustin Poirier (-200) to post a victory over Dan Hooker (+175) in their UFC Fight Night lightweight main event. Marley said Poirier would win at least a 48-47 decision if the fight went to the scorecards. That’s exactly what happened, as two judges had that exact score while the third gave Poirier a 48-46 advantage en route to a unanimous decision. 

Marley also called a decisive victory two weeks ago for Curtis Blaydes (-400) against Alexander Volkov (+320) in their heavyweight main event. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley’s UFC picks is way up. 

Now, with UFC 251 approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC 251 odds and released his picks for every fight. Those UFC 251 picks only are available here.

Volkanovski vs. Holloway preview

These top featherweight fighters met at UFC 245 last December in Las Vegas and went the full five rounds. Volkanovski got the unanimous decision, claiming the UFC Featherweight Championship in the process. It was the second loss for Holloway in a three-fight span after he also dropped a decision to Dustin Poirier at UFC 236. 

But Holloway is determined to get the title back and has several statistical edges, including a slight advantage in significant strikes landed per minute (6.66 vs. 6.15). He’s also extremely accurate on his takedowns, landing 83 percent of them compared to just 34 percent for Volkanovski.

Volkanovski’s leg kicks, however, were a major factor in the first bout and could be again at Fight Island. He showed he had the stamina to hang with Holloway for five rounds last time, but expect Holloway to step up his fitness even more after that last result. You can see Marley’s full Volkanoyski vs. Holloway picks here.

Top UFC 251 predictions for July 11

We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 251 predictions here: He is backing Amanda Ribas (-800) to beat Paige VanZant (+550) in a women’s flyweight bout. 

Ribas (9-1) will be making her debut as a flyweight after winning her final four fights in the strawweight division to earn a top-15 ranking. The 26-year-old Brazilian, who won the 2014 International MMA Federation World Championship as a flyweight, is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Randa Markos on March 14. 

The 26-year-old VanZant (8-4) will step into the Octagon for the first time since posting a submission win over Rachael Ostovich on January 19, 2019 in her second fight as a flyweight. The former strawweight originally was scheduled to face Ribas on March 14 but pulled out of the fight after fracturing her right arm for the third time since January 2018. 

“Ribas is better everywhere here and I believe the only way she would lose is to submission, a guillotine or a rear naked choke if VanZant can get her back,” Marley told SportsLine. “Ribas should control every minute of this fight.”

How to make UFC 251 picks

Marley also has strong picks for Volkanovski vs. Holloway and every other bout on the UFC 251 card. He’s also backing one combatant who is “the more powerful guy.” You can see those UFC 251 picks only at SportsLine. 

Who wins Volkanovski vs. Holloway at UFC 251? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on Saturday’s UFC 251 card, all from the accomplished expert who’s up nearly $21,000 and has nailed 12 straight main events, and find out.

UFC 251 odds (via William Hill US)

Alexander Volkanovski (-220) vs. Max Holloway (+180)
Petr Yan (-230) vs. Jose Aldo (+190)
Jessica Andrade (+165) vs. Rose Namajunas (-195)
Amanda Ribas (-800) vs. Paige VanZant (+550)
Volkan Oezdemir (-160) vs. Jiri Prochazka (+135)
Elizeu Dos Santos (-115) vs. Muslim Salikhov (-105)
Makwan Amirkhani (-195) vs. Danny Henry (+165)
Leonardo Santos (-190) vs. Roman Bogatov (+160)
Marcin Tybura (-105) vs. Alexandr Romanov (-115)
Raulian Paiva (-195) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+165)
Karol Rosa (-210) vs. Vanessa Melo (+175)
Martin Day (-175) vs. Davey Grant (+150)

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