Huge UFC action is set for this weekend, as UFC 266 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A stacked card is set for the return of live fans in attendance, which also include a battle between Valentina Shevchenko and Lauren Murphy for the women’s flyweight title and a second fight between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. However, the main event will be all about the featherweight division, as Alexander Volkanovski bids to defend his gold against Brian Ortega.
The odds for the huge UFC 266 main event are live on BetXchange right now, and Alexander Volkanovski is currently listed as the clear favourite. The Australian superstar is priced up at 11/20 to regain his featherweight title. Meanwhile, Ortega is the outsider to claim victory, as he is currently 14/10 to walk out of Las Vegas as the new champion.
Volkanovski’s Incredible Rise
Volkanovski has been on a roll over recent years, as he has improved his professional MMA record to 22-1. His only defeat came way back in May 2013, as he was beaten by Corey Nelson at Australian Fighting Championship 5. However, since then, he has looked every bit as untouchable as his record would suggest. His first appearance in UFC came in November 2016, as he beat Yusuke Kasuya by TKO in the second round. Wins over Mizuto Hirota and Shane Young followed, before a second TKO win in the UFC came in Perth against Jeremy Kennedy in February 2018.
The fight that really put him on the UFC map came at UFC 232, as he was awarded the fight of the night bonus following his TKO victory in the second round against Chad Mendes. A step up in opposition has followed since then. A huge win against Jose Aldo came in May 2019, before two thoroughly entertaining fights against Max Holloway in December 2019 and July 2020. After winning the first fight, he won the featherweight championship, before successfully defending it at UFC 251 by split decision.
Ortega Second-Ranked Featherweight
Brian Ortega is still one of the stars of the featherweight division, and will be challenging for the UFC title for the second time in his career. His previous challenge came in December 2018 at UFC 231, but he was beaten by TKO in the fourth round by Max Holloway. However, after a long break away from the octagon, he finally made his big return at UFC Fight Night in October 2020.
He looked back to his best on that appearance, as he beat Chan Sung Jung by unanimous decision after a tight fight between the stars lasted five rounds. His career record stands at 15-1 (1NC), but his best chance of victory in this fight will likely come from trying to lock in a submission.
Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega Prediction
It will be a fascinating main event at UFC 266, but it looked incredibly challenging to look past Volkanovski. His form over the past couple of years has been stunning, and his big fight experience could be pivotal when coming up against Ortega this weekend.