UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega betting odds, preview, and pick

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Danny Howard

September 20th, 2021

Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega face off in a battle of hard-willed featherweights in the main event of UFC 266. We have the betting odds and preview you need before the first blow is delivered.

Sun, September 26 2021, 3:00 AM

Volkanovski, Alex



Ortega, Brian



Volkanovski is firing on all cylinders 

The featherweight champion is not only an excellent striker, but is just as aggressive trying to take his opponents down. Volkanovski is coming off a pair of controversial wins over Max Holloway and hasn’t lost a fight in eight years.

The best thing the champion has going for him is that he is an active, accurate striker. He is landing an astonishing 6.02 strikes per minute at 55% accuracy, and for someone whose defense is as bad as Ortega’s, that alone means he's in for a long night.

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega tale of the tape

Alexander Volkanovskivs.Brian Ortega
Last 5 Fights
High striking output
Key Intangibles
Grappling and grittiness

Ortega is back in the mix

Ortega ended a two-year injury hiatus from the octagon and delivered an impressive, one-sided beatdown of Chan Sung Jung last December. The strength of Ortega’s performance propelled him to another shot for featherweight glory.

While Ortega was dropping Jung like a garbage bag on the window, his bread and butter is his grappling. Once Ortega gets his opponents on the ground, he actively goes for submissions and makes sure his foes stay on the mat.

Volkanovski will batter an overmatched Ortega

Ortega seems to be getting the benefit of the doubt with oddsmakers due to Volkanovski’s questionable wins over Holloway, but his defense is laughably bad. "T-City" can’t possibly contend with Volkanovski’s strikes, and has to take him down. Unfortunately, standing too long in front of a fighter who is so busy and accurate is a poor strategy.

Volkanovski also has a slight advantage in reach and has solid conditioning, making Ortega’s predicament that much harder to overcome. For all the time Ortega will spend trying to bust through Volkanovski’s respectable takedown defense, he’s going to get bloodied and worked over.

As long as Volkanovski doesn’t tire, leaving him open for Ortega to do his work, then he should notch another easy win. There might be a brief stretch where Ortega makes a stand, but the fight will be out of his hands by that point.

Ortega will be game, but he’s in for a beating as Volkanovski will retain his featherweight title via a lopsided decision.

UFC 266 pick: Volkanovski