UFC 266: Brian Ortega vs Alexander Volkanovski Picks, Odds, and Predictions

Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega
September 25, 2021 11:50 pm EDT
The Line: Brian Ortega +150 / Alexander Volkanovski -175
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega fight Saturday in UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena. Volkanovski enters this fight with a 22-1 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Ortega enters this fight with a 15-1 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by submission. 

Volkanovski has won last 19 fights and is coming off a July (2020) win over Max Holloway. Volkanovski is averaging 6.02 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Volkanovski is averaging 2.09 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 34 percent. Volkanovski is coming off another win over Holloway at UFC 251 where he landed 139 total strikes and produced three takedowns. Volkanovski will now fight for the first time in over a year, as he was supposed to fight back in March, but he tested positive for COVID. A really strong fighter with extreme pop in his hands and a boxing background, Volkanovski has some of the better standup striking in the sport and counters very well. Volkanovski is also an effective takedown artist with a strong upper body and a wrestling background. Volkanovski has a brown belt in BJJ, and he defends takedowns at a very high level, so he’s going to force his opponent to fight the fight he wants and that gives him a great deal of confidence. This will be Volkanovski’s second career fight in Nevada.

Ortega has won seven of his last eight fights, and he’s coming off an October win over Chan Sung Jung. Ortega is averaging 4.29 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Ortega is averaging 0.80 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 21 percent. Ortega is coming off a decision win at UFC Fight Night 180 where he landed 129 total strikes and produced three takedowns. Ortega has now won all five career decisions. Ortega has certainly improved his striking in his last few fights, as he used to be a bit wild and carless with his hands, opening the door to counters and leading to subpar defense. Ortega is most dangerous with his legs and his ground game, as he kicks well and can find a submission hold just about anywhere. A black belt in BJJ, Ortega doesn’t need much of an opening to end a fight and four of his last six victories have come by submission. Ortega is extremely dangerous on the canvas and four of his seven submissions have come by the triangle choke. This will be Ortega’s third career fight in Nevada.

Ortega has become a much more balanced fighter as of late, and he’ll have a chance in this bout because of his craftiness and sometimes weird style. I don’t hate taking a shot at the plus money. However, betting against Volkanovski isn’t something I’m eager to do. Not only did Volkanovski just beat Holloway twice, but he beat Jose Aldo before that. He’s on quite a run and has proven himself as one of the best fighters on the planet regardless of weight class, as he approaches 33 years old. I’m not stepping in front of a red hot Volkanovski.

Give me Volkanovski and the reasonable price.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Alexander Volkanovski -175
Up to $5000 Risk Free Bet; Use code DAWGZRF

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.

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