The UFC returns to pay-per-view for the highly anticipated UFC 266 event. Two championship title fights and the return of Nick Diaz make this an event you can’t afford to miss. Read on for our complete breakdown on the UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and his opponent Brian Ortega. They will head-line the UFC 266 fight card with the winner walking away as the undisputed champion; Continue reading for the updated UFC odds, main event preview and free UFC 266 betting picks.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
UFC Featherweight Championship Main Event Bout
Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena
Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski
- Pro MMA Record: (22-1) (11 KOs, 3 Submissions)
- Age: 32
- Height: 5'6"
- Reach: 71.5"
- Training Out Of – City Kickboxing & Tiger Muay Thai
- Fighting Style: Kickboxing
The rise of Alexander Volkanovski has been nothing short of amazing, remaining undefeated in the UFC since his promotional debut in 2016. The Australian-born 32-year-old added the UFC featherweight championship to complement his perfect record at UFC 245, defeating the phenomenal talent that is Max Holloway. This championship-winning fight came after Volkanovski defeated Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes – a former champion of contender of the 145lb division.
Although Volkanovski has predominantly utilized his kickboxing prowess to gain the advantage in most of his UFC victories, he began martial arts by competing in Greco-Roman wrestling during his younger years. This diverse skillset gives the champion a choice to dictate where he wants his MMA bouts to take place, whether standing or on the ground.
Brian “T-City” Ortega
- Pro MMA Record: (15-1) (3 KOs, 7 Submissions)
- Age: 30
- Height: 5'8"
- Reach: 69.0"
- Training Out Of – Black House MMA, California
- Fighting Style: Jiu-Jitsu
1st degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt owner Brian Ortega is no stranger to making his opponent tap. An aristocrat of the limb-bending art built his early career through subjecting the opposition to his elite scrambling and submission offense, which has put a heavier focus on striking ability in recent years. Outside of Max Holloway putting on a striking clinic on Ortega, he’s notably evolving from fight to fight.
A round 1 knockout of Frankie Edgar and a decision win over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung displayed Ortega’s apparent leveling up in the striking department. This weekend will gift Ortega with his second chance at UFC gold, a deserving reattempt won’t be an easy task, but “T-City” has left the audience flabbergasted on multiple occasions during his career.
Volkanovski vs. Ortega Betting Odds and UFC 266 Best Bets
The BMR's odds favor Volkanovski, and the betting line continues to move in his direction. Opening odds of -145 are not in the -160 region, and we shouldn’t act bewildered at this shift. If Alexander Volkanovski defeated one of the greatest strikers in UFC featherweight history (Max Holloway), and Brian Ortega was utterly outclassed by the same opponent – there aren’t many analysts who’ll anticipate Ortega will take control of a striking battle, leaving his most ideal path to victory coming through the utilization of his Jiu-Jitsu skillset.
The problem with Ortega finding a submission finish is that Volkanovski possesses incredible core strength and wrestling defense; he shouldn’t see much trouble in avoiding the grappling attempts from Ortega. The most surprising factor is the available odds; when considering Ortega’s path to winning this fight is limited and mainly based on sneaking in a dramatic submission finish – you’d expect significant juice on the champion. With that said, we’ll put our faith in the featherweight titleholder defending his belt.
UFC 266 Betting Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski to win at -164 with 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.
UFC 266 MAIN CARD LINEUP
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega [UFC featherweight championship main event bout]
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy [UFC women’s flyweight title co-main event bout]
- Robbie Lawler vs. Nick Diaz [UFC middleweight bout]
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik [UFC heavyweight bout]
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo [UFC women’s flyweight bout]