MMA

UFC on ABC 3: Yair Rodriguez vs Brian Ortega Picks, Predictions, Odds

Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez
July 16, 2022 4:15 pm EDT
The Line: Yair Rodriguez +155 / Brian Ortega -180
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez fight Saturday in UFC on ABC 3 at the UBS Arena. Ortega enters this fight with a 15-2 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by submission. Rodriguez enters this fight with a 13-3 record and has won 46 percent of his fights by decision.

Ortega has won 6 of his last 8 fights, and he’s coming off a September loss to Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega is averaging 4.15 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Ortega is averaging 0.87 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 24 percent. Ortega is coming off a decision loss at UFC 266 where he landed 101 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. The bout earned fight of the night honors, but Ortega now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. 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 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 4 of his last 6 victories have come by submission. Ortega is extremely dangerous on the canvas, and 4 of his 7 submissions have come by the triangle choke. This will be Ortega’s first career fight in New York.

Rodriguez has won 7 of his last 10 fights and is coming off a November loss to Max Holloway. Rodriguez is averaging 4.65 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Rodriguez is averaging 0.86 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 28 percent. Rodriguez is coming off a decision loss at UFC Fight Night 197 where he landed 186 total strikes and produced a takedown. The bout earned fight of the night honors, and Rodriguez now looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Rodriguez is quite an athlete and likes to pressure his opponents with a variety of strikes, and 3 of his last 5 victories have been knockouts. Rodriguez can be a bit wild at times and does have holes in his defense, but he’s creative and always in the fight due to a decent work rate. A black belt in taekwondo, Rodriguez has also improved his takedown percentage lately, so his ground game can’t go unnoticed as well. This will be Rodriguez’s first career fight in New York.

Ortega is going to be the favorite because he has the advantage on the ground and his leg shots will keep Rodriguez at a distance on the feet. I get it. However, this is a lot of plus money for a fighter in Rodriguez who has shown time and time again he’s a tough out. Rodriguez is the more accurate striker, the better defender on the feet, and he has a size advantage with a couple inches on his reach advantage. For me, this fight is closer to a toss up, so I’ll take my chances with Rodriguez for the upset.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Yair Rodriguez +155

Randy Chambers

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