Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega were originally set to fight for the featherweight title at UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski contracted COVID-19 and the fight was postponed.
The two men went on to become the coaches in the return of The Ultimate Fighter and their featherweight title fight has been rescheduled to be the main event for UFC 266. This fight is the main event of the PPV that takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 25.
Looking at the Volkanovski vs Ortega odds, it is the champion who is listed as the favorite with the challenger coming in as an underdog.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released Volkanovski vs Ortega odds with Volkanovski set as a -185 favorite and Ortega the +150 underdog. This means you would have to wager $185 to profit $100 on a Volkanovski win, while a $100 bet on an Ortega victory would profit you $150.
Odds Shark has all the UFC fight news for the upcoming UFC 266 event.
Volkanovski vs Ortega Odds
Odds as of September 24 at Sportsbook
Looking at the Volkanovski vs Ortega odds, our sports betting calculator tells us Volkanovski’s odds of -185 represent an implied win probability of 64.91 percent while Ortega’s +150 betting line has an implied win probability of 40.00 percent.
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Volkanovski vs Ortega Odds Analysis
I think we are seeing a much sharper betting line for Brian “T-City” Ortega in his second shot at the UFC featherweight title than we saw in his first attempt. Ortega was a slight -105 underdog when he fought Max Holloway at UFC 231 in 2018, a fight in which the former champ set a UFC record for the highest number of significant strikes landed en route to a knockout victory.
Seeing Ortega at +150 this time around, following a lengthy layoff after the Holloway beatdown, seems appropriate as he looked very good in his return to the Octagon vs the Korean Zombie in October. This is the fourth time in five fights that T-City has been an underdog, with his only pro loss coming to Holloway.
Is Volkanovski Undervalued Based On Holloway Fights?
Many people believe that Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski didn’t beat Max Holloway when the two collided at UFC 245 in December 2019. Even more people, myself included, definitely think he didn’t win the split-decision rematch at UFC 251 last July for his 19th straight victory.
Regardless of what people think, the Australian had his hand raised both times but public perception may be driving his value down as he may not be seen as the true champ. He is a lesser favorite in this fight than he was in the rematch with Holloway when he closed at -210. If you’re telling me that he was more than a -200 favorite vs Holloway but is less a favorite against Ortega, then the champ is definitely undervalued.
Volkanovski vs Ortega Prediction
The biggest knock on Ortega throughout his career has been his iffy striking skills. However, some of those critics were silenced when he knocked out Frankie Edgar, earning him the title shot with Max Holloway, where he was really exposed.
In his return to the cage in October, though, T-City looked like a new man on the feet, picking Korean Zombie apart, landing 127 significant strikes to Zombie’s 62. Ortega had two knockdowns in the fight as well.
Is Ortega The Total Package Now?
Prior to the Holloway fight, Ortega had been outstruck in five of his seven bouts, while having equal strikes in one and a two-strike advantage in the other. That said, he had a tremendous ability to finish his opponents in the third round when he was losing on the scorecards. He did this against Thiago Tavares, Diego Brandao, Clay Guida and Renato Moicano.
There’s no denying the submissions skills, most notably his guillotine choke that scares the you-know-what out of anyone who tries to shoot on him, forcing them to stand and strike. I was impressed with Ortega’s straight accurate punches vs Zombie, working behind a jab and countering heavy with his left hand.
Volkanovski’s The Champ For A Reason
One of the things that I think was overlooked in Volkanovski’s two victories over Max Holloway was how he adapted his game and showed that he can win in more than one way. In the first bout, he battered the former champ with leg kicks, which opened up areas for him to throw his hands, and when Max would engage with him, he would stay in the pocket and throw.
In the rematch, The Great had some issues on the feet with Holloway so he elected to get on his bike more, absorbing 102 significant strikes compared to 134 in their first meeting. That 102 number also represents the fewest Holloway has landed over his seven fights. Additionally, Volkanovski decided to grapple, securing three takedowns after not landing any in his four previous fights.
One of the things that benefited Ortega in the Zombie fight was the lack of output from the South Korean; he’s not going to have that luxury against Volkanovski. In The Great’s last five fights, he has landed at least 100 significant strikes and averages 6.02 significant strikes per minute. I think Volkanovski has the better footwork and striking defense, though Ortega may have the power advantage when he fires that left hand.
Ultimately, I expect an all-out brawl but the belt will remain with Volkanovski.