The UFC returns to ABC for another highly anticipated fight card from the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York. Top-ranked featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will meet in the center of the octagon for next weekend’s main event.
Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez
UFC Featherweight Main Event Bout
Saturday, July 16, 2022 – 09:05 PM EDT at UBS Arena
Brian Ortega Fighter Preview (15-2-0)
Brian Ortega returns to the octagon following one of the most entertaining championship bouts of 2021 versus Alexander Volkanovski. Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have been at the forefront of his skillset, but this wasn’t enough to dethrone the No.2 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
An undefeated (8-0) record caught the UFC’s attention in 2014, and right up until 2018, he maintained an unblemished record to put his name amongst the featherweight’s elite. A wake-up call in the shape of Max Holloway stopped Ortega in his tracks, but these learning curves have only made the California native a more robust competitor.
Names like Diego Brandao, Clay Guida, Renato Moicano, Cub Swanson, and Frankie Edgar were all finished inside the distance by “T-City”, and we’re eagerly awaiting another highlight reel from the former title challenger.
Brian Ortega MMA Accomplishments
- UFC Performance of the Night (Two times)
- UFC Fight of the Night (Five times)
- RFA Featherweight Champion (One time)
- ESPN 2021 Fight of the Year vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Best Available Odds: Brian Ortega (-157) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Yair Rodriguez Fighter Preview (11-1-0)
A two-year absence from active competition left Yair fans in turmoil because his highlight-reel striking skills are what MMA fans want to see in the octagon each and every week. His return to the cage versus Holloway on November 21’ created an instant classic, but the 29-year-old will now look for his first title opportunity with a significant win over Ortega.
Unorthodox striking techniques and a flare inside the octagon created a new fan favorite in Yair Rodriguez. Since his arrival to the UFC in 2014, he’s fought a killer’s row of featherweight contenders to earn an abundance of respect.
Yair’s 8-2 UFC record will be tested next weekend, but the contest ahead will undoubtedly deliver one of the Fight of the Year candidates.
Yair Rodriguez MMA Accomplishments
- UFC Fight of the Night (Five times)
- UFC Performance of the Night (Three times)
- The Ultimate Fighter: Latin American Tournament Winner
- 2018 Knockout of the Year vs. Chan Sung Jung
Best Available Odds: Yair Rodriguez (+137) at BetOnline
UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodriguez Breakdown and Analysis
Ortega Style and How Can Ortega Defeat Rodriguez?
Ortegas’ jiu-jitsu grappling brought him to the main stage; he’s fallen in love with his hands recently and should never shy away from what brought him to the dance.
Yair isn’t going to be an easy opponent to strike with; I believe Ortega can resume his former stopping power by dragging the Mexican away from what he knows best.
Rodriguez’s Fight Style and How Can Rodriguez Defeat Ortega?
Yair Rodriguez throws everything into his striking output; from a dangerous set of kicks and a versatile movement on the feet, Rodriguez will pose multiple threats to the relaxed striking style of Ortega.
Kicks are the key to Rodriguez’s success; his kick game is second to none, and he can overcome Ortega’s grappling by utilizing moves such as the side kick, hook kicks, and spinning attacks to keep his distance.
Ortega vs. Rodriguez: Betting Prediction and UFC Fight Night Odds
The available odds at the top-rated sportsbooks favor Ortega, but the odds aren’t too wide on either side. I found picking a side in this contest challenging, but the favorite did put out a great showing versus the current champ.
The no-quit attitude of these two fighters gives me a good feeling about the over 2 ½ rounds, and that’s where I’ll lay my money next weekend.
UFC Pick: Over 2 ½ rounds (Odds TBD) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.