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UFC 266 Odds & Prediction: Two Championship Fights On The Card

Alexander Volkanovski (left) is favored over Brian Ortega (right) in the UFC 266 odds.

UFC International Fight Week traditionally takes place in July with a big fight card and the Hall of Fame induction. In 2021, International Fight Week is in September and ends with UFC 266 featuring two title fights.

In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko defends her women’s flyweight title against Lauren Murphy, while Alexander Volkanovski lays his featherweight strap on the line against Brian Ortega in the main event. Looking at UFC 266 odds for the final fight of the night, Volkanovski is the betting favorite.

There has been nothing but success in the UFC for Volkanovski, who has won all nine of his bouts in the Octagon, including narrow decision victories over Max Holloway in his last two appearances. He hasn’t been in action since July 2020 as a positive COVID-19 test postponed this bout in the spring.

This is Ortega’s second title shot after he had a rough go with Max Holloway in December 2018. He took nearly two years off due to injury, returning last October with a decisive win over the Korean Zombie to lead into this title fight.

UFC 266 Odds: Volkanovski vs Ortega

Online sportsbook Bovada has listed the UFC 266 odds and in the main event, Alexander Volkanovski is the -185 favorite while Brian Ortega is the +150 underdog. If you’re looking to profit $100 with a Volkanovski victory, you would need to wager $185, whereas a $100 winning bet on Ortega would profit you $150.

Further examining the UFC 266 odds for the featherweight championship with our sports betting calculator, Volkanovski’s -185 betting line represents an implied win probability of 64.91 percent while Ortega’s implied win probability is 40.00 percent.

The biggest favorite in the UFC 266 betting lines can be found in the co-main event as Valentina Shevchenko is a massive -1800 favorite over Lauren Murphy (+850). If you like betting on the fight with the tightest odds, look to the prelims where Uros Medic (-120) is favored over Jalin Turner (+100).

Be sure to check out all of Odds Shark’s UFC fight news.

UFC 266 Betting Odds & Fight Card


UFC 266 Betting Lines And Fight Card
  • Main Card
  • Featherweight Championship – Alexander Volkanovski (-185) vs Brian Ortega (+150)
  • Women’s Flyweight Championship – Valentina Shevchenko (-1800) vs Lauren Murphy (+850)
  • Welterweight – Nick Diaz (+130) vs Robbie Lawler (-155)
  • Heavyweight – Curtis Blaydes (-325) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+250)
  • Women’s Flyweight – Jessica Andrade (-240) vs Cynthia Calvillo (+190)
  • Prelims
  • Bantamweight – Marlon Moraes (+210) vs Merab Dvalishvili (-265)
  • Lightweight – Dan Hooker (-150) vs Nasrat Haqparast (+125)
  • Heavyweight – Shamil Abdurakhimov (+170) vs Chris Daukaus (-210)
  • Women’s Flyweight – Roxanne Modafferi (+325) vs Taila Santos (-450)
  • Lightweight – Uros Medic (-120) vs Jalin Turner (+100)
  • Middleweight – Cody Brundage (+100) vs Nick Maximov (-120)
  • Welterweight – Matthew Semelsberger (-550) vs Martin Sano (+380)
  • Featherweight – Jonathan Pearce (+135) vs Omar Morales (-165)

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UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega Broadcast Information
  • Date/Time: September 25, 6 p.m. ET
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Arena: T-Mobile Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+, PPV

Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Alexander Volkanovski-185
Brian Ortega+150

As mentioned off the top, Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski (-185) is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC, with his winning streak in fact dating back to 2013, a span of 19 fights. As for Brian “T-City” Ortega (+150), his current streak is just the one win but prior to his loss to Max Holloway, he was a perfect 14-0. These two men coached this season of The Ultimate Fighter.


Volkanovski: Need to Knows
  • There are several great fighters who had a blemish early in their careers and then went on huge winning streaks. Volkanovski is one of those guys. He is 22-1 with that knockout loss coming in 2013. Among his wins, 14 are stoppages, with 11 knockouts and three submissions.
  • “The Great” could simply be the way you refer to his skill as he is very well-rounded and dangerous however the fight plays out. In the striking department, he averages 6.02 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.31 and he has outstruck all nine of his UFC foes.
  • Volkanovski also mixes in 2.09 takedowns per 15 minutes. Despite his shorter stature (five-foot-six), he is rangy and has a 71-inch reach, giving him a two-inch advantage over Ortega.
  • The orthodox fighter likes to maintain distance until he gets a feel for his opponent but is quick to let his hands fly if his foe tries to rush in. He is a smart fighter and mixes his strikes well while chatting with his opponent the entire fight.
  • Volkanovski’s last three fights were Jose Aldo (win – unanimous decision), Max Holloway (win – unanimous decision) and Max Holloway (win – split decision).


Ortega: Need to Knows
  • While Ortega has just one defeat on his record, it was a beatdown at the hands of Max Holloway in a TKO doctor stoppage. Overall, he’s now 15-1 with 10 wins by stoppage (three knockouts, seven submissions).
  • I may be critical of Ortega and perhaps rightfully so. Looking at T-City’s striking stats, he averages 4.29 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.28. He has been outstruck in six of his nine UFC bouts.
  • I am critical because in many of Ortega’s fights, he had been losing, for example to Renato Moicano, Clay Guida and Cub Swanson. That said, he has an incredible ability to earn a finish late in the fight to redeem himself for the previous lost rounds.
  • T-City’s submission skills are nasty with a black belt under Rener Gracie, son of UFC co-founder Rorion Gracie. While his striking was miles behind Holloway, he outstruck the Korean Zombie 127-62 with two knockdowns.
  • His striking has clearly improved, with good leg kicks and sharp jabs. What I liked most about the change in his game is that T-City held his ground and countered heavily when the Korean Zombie rushed into the pocket. The Zombie had success when he would dart in, land a strike and get out immediately.
  • Ortega’s last three fights were Frankie Edgar (win – knockout), Max Holloway (loss – knockout) and Korean Zombie (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski (-185) via decision

For more on this fight, see the Volkanovski vs Ortega odds analysis page.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Valentina Shevchenko-1800
Lauren Murphy+850

Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (-1800) returns to the Octagon for the second time in 2021 as the biggest favorite on the card, eyeing her sixth title defense and eighth win in a row overall. Her opponent, “Lucky” Lauren Murphy (+850), is on quite the run as well, winning her last five trips to the Octagon to earn this title shot.


Shevchenko: Need to Knows
  • Shevchenko has only two defeats inside the Octagon, both a weight class above to Amanda Nunes and both by razor-thin decision. As a whole, she is 21-3 with one knockout loss and her record of victory balanced with seven knockouts, seven submissions and seven decisions.
  • It could be argued that Bullet is the most decorated mixed martial artist in the UFC with a master of sport in taekwondo, Muay Thai, boxing, kickboxing and judo. She averages 3.02 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 1.99 and she mixes in 2.64 takedowns per 15 minutes as well.
  • Her fight IQ is simply off the charts, dissecting her opponent’s every move, solving the puzzle and then going on the attack. Bullet’s footwork is elite, allowing her to get in striking range, land and then avoid anything coming back her way. Her grappling is very underrated and high-level.
  • Shevchenko’s last three fights were Katlyn Chookagian (win – knockout), Jennifer Maia (win – unanimous decision) and Jessica Andrade (win – knockout).


Murphy: Need to Knows
  • Murphy had a late start in MMA, making her pro debut in 2010 at the age of 26. Eleven years later at 38, she fights for a world title. Her record stands at 15-4 with four decision losses and nine stoppage victories, eight by knockout.
  • Lucky moves really well and has no fear of getting in a brawl. At times, she can be a little hesitant, making a good read but not pulling the trigger to capitalize. She averages 3.95 significant strikes per minute but absorbs 4.25.
  • Her best area is in the clinches and in grappling, where she gets 1.16 takedowns per 15 minutes. When it comes to striking, she does her best work in a dogfight. On the outside, she just looks to counter and her speed simply isn’t there, though the grit certainly is.
  • Murphy’s last three fights were Roxanne Modafferi (win – unanimous decision), Liliya Shakirova (win – submission) and Joanne Calderwood (win – split decision).

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko (-1800) via knockout

Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Nick Diaz+130
Robbie Lawler-155

It has been nearly seven years since we saw Nick Diaz (+130) but here is his return in the second-ever five-round non-title non-main event bout – his brother Nate was in the first earlier this year. Looking to spoil the return and avenge a 2004 knockout loss is “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (-155).


Diaz: Need to Knows
  • Not only has Diaz been out of action for over six years, but he hasn’t scored a victory in almost 10 years. The former Strikeforce champion has a record of 26-9 with two no contests and seven of his defeats were decisions. He has 21 finishes on his record (13 knockouts, eight submissions).
  • While handicapping a fighter who has been out of competition for nearly seven years is a difficult task, we can talk about the fighter he was. The southpaw averaged 5.43 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.56 and he added 1.32 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • Diaz is known for his outstanding conditioning and durability, having been stopped only twice – one was a doctor stoppage and the other came in his fifth pro fight in 2002. That great cardio can be attributed to the triathlons he enters.
  • Like his brother Nate, Nick will talk smack the entire fight, trying to goad his foe into a firefight so that he can counter heavily in the pocket. On the floor, his submission skills are elite and he is one of only a few men to win a bout via gogoplata, which he did in Pride – though the victory was overturned due to a positive test for marijuana.
  • Diaz’s last three fights were Carlos Condit (loss – unanimous decision), Georges St-Pierre (loss – unanimous decision) and Anderson Silva (no contest).


Lawler: Need to Knows
  • Since losing the UFC welterweight title to Tyron Woodley in 2016, Lawler has been a bit of a shell of his former self and has lost his last four fights. Overall, the veteran has a 28-15 record with one no contest. Among his wins, 21 are stoppages, all but one by knockout. He’s been finished eight times, three by knockout.
  • While Ruthless has dropped four in a row, two common patterns have led to those defeats – output and grappling. He has been taken down 17 times in those four losses and has been outstruck 413-216.
  • When Robbie was at his best, he was a gladiator, going shot for shot, never backing down and winning a war of attrition. Now, he’s been a little more measured, looking for big one-punch knockouts rather than the big output he used to employ to batter his foes.
  • Lawler’s last three fights were Ben Askren (loss – submission), Colby Covington (loss – unanimous decision) and Neil Magny (loss – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Nick Diaz (+130) via knockout

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Curtis Blaydes vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Curtis Blaydes-325
Jairzinho Rozenstruik+250

After getting knocked out by Derrick Lewis in February, Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (-325) returns to the Octagon looking to get back on a winning streak. Looking to pile another knockout loss on Blaydes is Jairzinho “Bigi Boy” Rozenstruik (+250), who scored a victory in that manner in June.


Blaydes: Need to Knows
  • Blaydes consistently gets on lengthy winning streaks only to be halted abruptly by power punches. He carries a 14-3 record with one no contest and 10 of his wins have come by knockout but so too have his three defeats – two to current heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou.
  • Razor’s striking has continued to improve through his MMA career, which was evident in his knockout win over former champion Junior Dos Santos that took place solely on the feet.
  • That said, it is wrestling ability that makes Blaydes a true contender as he averages 6.64 takedowns per 15 minutes, which is incredible for the big boys. He secured a heavyweight-record 14 takedowns in his decision win over Alexander Volkov last June. On the floor, he has aggressive ground and pound.
  • Blaydes’ last three fights were Junior Dos Santos (win – knockout), Alexander Volkov (win – unanimous decision) and Derrick Lewis (loss – knockout).


Rozenstruik: Need to Knows
  • Like Blaydes, Rozenstruik has inched toward a title shot as well before running into Francis Ngannou, which has paused his progress a little bit. His record stands at 12-2 with 11 knockout wins and one knockout loss. The two defeats came against current champ Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane.
  • Don’t look for Bigi Boy to go for any takedowns. He has secured a total of zero through eight UFC bouts, though of course three of those bouts were finished within 30 seconds.
  • With those knockout victories, it should come as no surprise that he has outstruck all but two of his eight UFC opponents. Formerly a kickboxer, Bigi Boy has powerful kicks and is deceptively quick for such a big man. He cuts the cage off effectively and when he lets his strikes go, he’s very dangerous.
  • In two of his fights in the UFC, he was taken down twice and that could be a concern in this bout, especially when he’s throwing kicks that can be caught.
  • Rozenstruik’s last three fights were Junior Dos Santos (win – knockout), Ciryl Gane (loss – unanimous decision) and Augusto Sakai (win – knockout).

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes (-325) via knockout

Jessica Andrade vs Cynthia Calvillo Odds & Prediction

FighterOdds
Jessica Andrade-240
Cynthia Calvillo+190

Former women’s strawweight champion Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade (-240) looks to get back in the win column following her loss to Valentina Shevchenko in April. Also looking for a victory following a defeat is Cynthia Calvillo (+190), who saw her four-fight unbeaten streak ended last November.


Andrade: Need to Knows
  • On paper, Andrade has had a rough go recently, dropping three of her last four, but all three of those losses came in championship fights. Her record is now 21-9 with 15 stoppage victories (eight knockouts, seven submissions) while she has been finished six times (four knockouts, two submissions).
  • With Andrade’s win over Katlyn Chookagian last October, she became the first woman to have wins in three different weight classes. The former champ is aggressive and well-rounded, averaging 6.15 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 5.20, and she gets 2.97 takedowns per 15 minutes as well.
  • An issue for Bate Estaca in the past was that she would only throw big overhand punches that weren’t very accurate against a fighter with good footwork. She’s gotten better at throwing straight punches and her strength in the clinch is remarkable, especially her slams.
  • Andrade’s last three fights were Rose Namajunas (loss – split decision), Katlyn Chookagian (win – knockout) and Valentina Shevchenko (loss – knockout).


Calvillo: Need to Knows
  • The loss in her last appearance was just the second of Calvillo’s career. She holds a 9-2-1 record with her defeats coming by decision. So too have four of her wins.
  • Cynthia is very fast with her hands and her footwork. She uses those quick hands to counter effectively while using her footwork to close distance and get a takedown. She averages 1.85 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • At times, she relies too much on countering, as she did with Chookagian, and she got picked apart by a faster, longer fighter. She does her best work when she makes it a dogfight, but that can be a dangerous game with powerful strikers as she lacks knockout power herself.
  • Calvillo’s last three fights were Marina Rodriguez (majority draw), Jessica Eye (win – unanimous decision) and Katlyn Chookagian (loss – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Jessica Andrade (-240) via decision

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UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega Best Bets

FighterOdds
Featherweight Championship – Alexander Volkanovski-185
Women’s Flyweight Championship – Valentina Shevchenko-1800
Welterweight – Nick Diaz+130
Heavyweight – Curtis Blaydes-325
Women’s Flyweight – Jessica Andrade-240