UFC 266 predictions — Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega: Fight card, odds, prelims, expert picks

It is time as soon as once more for a serious UFC PPV occasion. After going practically six weeks in between PPVs, the promotion is again in an enormous method with two title fights atop the UFC 266 battle card in Las Vegas. Capping off Worldwide Battle Week, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will look to increase his successful streak to twenty when he takes on prime contender Brian Ortega in the principle occasion from the T-Cell Enviornment. Plus, girls’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is again to tackle Lauren Murphy within the co-main occasion.

After which there’s the bout hardcore followers cannot wait to see. Nick Diaz, after practically six full years out of the Octagon, returns to tackle a well-known foe in former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. Diaz has not fought since a choice loss to Anderson Silva in January 2015 and a prolonged battle with the Nevada State Athletic Fee over marijuana use. Lawler, in the meantime, has hit an actual low level in his profession with 4 straight losses and 5 defeats in his final six.

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Additionally, heavyweight brawlers Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes are additionally set to fulfill in a battle of males with a mixed 21 knockouts in 26 victories. Each males want to keep their place within the heavyweight pecking order after struggling setbacks in earlier alternatives. A win by both man can hold them sooner or later title difficult dialog.

With a lot taking place on Saturday night time, let’s take a better take a look at the total battle card with the most recent odds from Caesars Sportsbook earlier than we get to our workers predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 266 battle card, odds

  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) -190 vs. Brian Ortega +160, featherweight championship
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1500 vs. Lauren Murphy +850, girls’s flyweight championship
  • Robbie Lawler -155 vs. Nick Diaz +130, middleweights
  • Curtis Blaydes -340 vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik +270, heavyweights
  • Jessica Andrade -220 vs. Cynthia Calvillo +180, girls’s flyweights
  • Merab Dvalishvili -270 vs. Marlon Moraes +220, bantamweights
  • Dan Hooker -150 vs. Nasrat Haqparast +125, lightweights
  • Chris Daukaus -210 vs. Shamil Abdurakimov +175, heavyweights
  • Talia Santos -400 vs. Roxanne Modafferi +310, girls’s flyweights
  • Uros Medic -125 vs. Jalin Turner +105, lightweights
  • Nick Maximov -135 vs. Cody Brundage +115, middleweights
  • Matthew Semelsberger -490 vs. Martin Sano +370, welterweights
  • Omar Morales -150 vs. Jonathan Pearce +125, lightweights

With such an enormous principal occasion on faucet, the crew at CBS Sports activities went forward with predictions and picks for the principle card. Listed below are your decide makers: Brent Brookhouse (Fight sports activities author), Brian Campbell (Fight sports activities author, co-host of “Morning Kombat”), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Smart (senior editor).

UFC 266 picks, predictions

Volkanovski (c) vs. Ortega Ortega Volkanovski Ortega Ortega Ortega Volkanovski
Shevchenko (c) vs. Murphy Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko
Lawler vs. Diaz Lawler Lawler Diaz Diaz Diaz Lawler
Blaydes vs. Rozenstruik Blaydes Blaydes Blaydes Rozenstruik Blaydes Blaydes
Andrade vs. Calvillo Andrade Andrade Andrade Andrade Andrade Andrade
Information so far (2021) 30-14 27-17 29-15 30-14 27-16 22-22

Campbell on why Ortega will win: Discovering the right steadiness between the relentless brawler he was in his 2018 title loss to Max Holloway and the putting technician he turned towards Chan Sung Jung upon his return from a two-year harm layoff can be key for Ortega in an effort to clear up the thriller of Volkanovski. The defending champion is usually two steps forward of his opponents by setting traps and counting on footwork to at all times retain management of the battle’s phrases. The excellent news for Ortega is that he has the scale, talent and ending skill to probably offset that. Though Volkanovski has publicly criticized Ortega’s battle IQ after the 2 received to know one another effectively as coaches on “The Final Fighter,” Ortega proved towards “The Korean Zombie” that we nonetheless have not seen the easiest of him but. The extra Ortega can stay unpredictable, the simpler his putting can probably be. Holloway got here as shut as a fighter can to fixing that riddle. Ortega has grow to be sufficient of a pupil of the sport that one closing leveling up could possibly be sufficient to realize the judges’ approval in an in depth determination. 

Brookhouse on why Volkanovski will win: Questionable judging within the rematch with Max Holloway has unfairly rewritten who Volkanovski is as a fighter for a lot of. Holloway is an distinctive fighter, as everybody is aware of, and Volkanovski landed more significant strikes in each of his fights with Holloway, not simply the primary conflict. Volkanovski is a legit expertise on the ft past what many are giving him credit score for, plus he has the flexibility to combine in wrestling. Ortega appeared improved in his one battle since returning however that was towards Chan Sung Jung, who is not precisely a troublesome puzzle to determine. Even that improved model of Ortega is not on the extent of Volkanovski and it will make for an extended night time for the challenger.

Campbell on why Shevchenko will win: Because the writer of 5 dominant title defenses at 125 kilos just lately stated in a chilly and calculated tone in a visitor spot on “Morning Kombat,” her job “is to destroy my opponent.” If the betting odds are any indication, count on Shevchenko to do exactly that towards Murphy, regardless of her latest five-fight win streak. Shevchenko is solely on one other degree than another feminine fighter not named Amanda Nunes. And if it was as soon as thought that wrestling is perhaps the one side of her sport lower than par with the remainder, her grappling tour de drive towards Jessica Andrade in April left no additional arguments. It is Shevchenko’s world, we simply stay in it. 

Brookhouse on why Lawler will win: There’s not a ton of logic that may be utilized to this battle. Lawler is a shell of the fighter he as soon as was and Diaz hasn’t fought in years. The Vegas odds on the battle swung exhausting towards Lawler late within the week, seemingly a product of some odd Diaz interviews, nevertheless it’s actually about Lawler getting used to the expertise of the battle nowadays. Diaz is not a traditional individual and he’ll possible come out and battle like he at all times has. Nonetheless, time catches as much as folks and Diaz hasn’t been within the cage to see how that point has affected his skill to function like he used to, Lawler has and due to this fact has a greater understanding of tips on how to method the battle.

Smart on why Lawler will win: It is actually robust to know why this line hovered at decide’em for thus lengthy. With over 5 years of inactivity, there actually isn’t any purpose to imagine in Nick Diaz on Saturday being one thing particular. Outdoors of pure fandom, that a lot inactivity is so exhausting to beat towards anyone. Whereas Lawler could be very a lot pale at this level in his profession, his losses have come towards elite fighters preferring to wrestle and clinch. Diaz will wish to stand and commerce, which has to favor Lawler at this level. With out realizing what Diaz’s chin seems like, plus how disinterested Diaz appeared to be all week with the battle, it is robust to go wherever aside from Lawler on this battle.   

Smart on why Blaydes will win: The chances on this battle are lengthy for a purpose. Whereas Rozenstruik possesses some obliterating knockout energy, he stays extremely passive whereas on the lookout for precisely the suitable shot to complete a battle. Blaydes, alternatively, is unrelenting in his ahead strain as he seems to take the legs and ship floor and pound. Whereas Blaydes has proven confirmed vulnerable to knockout pictures on entry from Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis, Rozenstruik isn’t that degree of expertise. Count on Blaydes to get to work early to show why he is nonetheless an elite problem at heavyweight.

Who will win Volkanovski vs. Ortega? And the way precisely does every UFC 266 battle finish? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks from Kyle Marley, who’s up over $14,000 on MMA picks previously 31 months, and discover out. | UFC 266 predictions — Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega: Battle card, odds, prelims, professional picks


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