UFC 266: Volkanovski v Ortega odds and predictions
Guy Giles makes his pick as Alexander Volkanovski defends his UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.
Volkanovski v Ortega odds
Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega will finally meet for the UFC featherweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The two fighters were first scheduled to meet in March, but the fight was cancelled after Volkanovski contracted Covid-19.
In the six months since then, Volkanovski and Ortega have faced off as head coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, with their title fight the culmination of a long build up.
Volkanovski will be defending his belt for just the second time since he won it in December 2019, and can count himself lucky to still be champion after a controversial decision win in his rematch against Max Holloway.
‘The Great’ still heads to Vegas as favourite to retain the 145lb title.
Ortega gets his second shot at a UFC title on Saturday, with the American suffering a brutal beatdown at the hands of Holloway nearly three years ago.
Since that stoppage, Ortega has fought just once, beating Chan Sung Jung by unanimous decision over five rounds in October 2020.
‘T-City’ is priced up as underdog to become the fifth UFC featherweight champion.
Volkanovski v Ortega prediction
Ortega has clearly made some significant improvements to his striking in the time since his last title fight, showing off some good work on the feet in his win over Korean Zombie in October.
Whether those improvements are enough to beat Volkanovski in the striking exchanges is another matter entirely, though.
Volkanovski got lucky with his decision win over Holloway, but he has more than held his own on the feet against the Hawaiian in two fights, and not many can say that.
Volkanovski’s powerful brand of kickboxing is likely to trouble Ortega, who has a tendency to take a lot of damage before pulling off comeback wins – usually via submission.
Ortega’s ground game is his best path to victory here, but Volkanovski is no slouch on the mat and has solid takedown defence.
Should Ortega be unable to take the champ to the ground, then Volkanovski is likely to wear him down with his brutal leg kicks and endless cardio.
Ortega may not crumble like he did against Holloway, but it’s hard to see him coming out on top in an awkward matchup.
Volkanovski by decision
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