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

A loaded UFC 266 fight card is expected to descend in Las Vegas on Saturday night. In the main event of the night, Alexander Volkanovski will defend the UFC Featherweight Championship against former title contender Brian Ortega. There’s another championship fight scheduled for the card with Valentina Shevchenko putting the women’s flyweight title on the line against top contender Lauren Murphy.

There are plenty of other huge fights on the map, including Nick Diaz returning to the Octagon for the first time in over five years when he faces Robbie Lawler in a rematch of a 2004 clash. Plus, heavyweight finishers go head to head when Curtis Blaydes takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

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With so much going on on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before moving on to our staff’s predictions and choices for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 266 fight card, odds

  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) -175 against Brian Ortega +150, featherweight championship
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1500 v Lauren Murphy +850, women’s flyweight championship
  • Robbie Lawler -135 vs. Nick Diaz +115, middleweight
  • Curtis Blaydes -310 v Jairzinho Rozenstruik +250, heavyweights
  • Jessica Andrade -270 vs. Cynthia Calvillo +220, women’s flyweight
  • Merab Dvalishvili -260 v Marlon Moraes +210, bantamweight
  • Dan Hooker -150 vs. Nasrat Haqparast +125, lightweight
  • Chris Daukaus -195 v Shamil Abdurakimov +165, heavyweights
  • Talia Santos -410 against Roxanne Modafferi +320, flyweight women
  • Uros Medic -125 vs. Jalin Turner +105, lightweight
  • Manon Fiorot -270 against Mayra Bueno Silva +220, flyweight women
  • Nick Maximov vs. Cody Brundage, middleweight
  • Matthew Semelsberger -490 vs. Martin Sano +370, welterweight
  • Omar Morales -150 v Jonathan Pearce +125, lightweight

With such a massive main event, the CBS Sports team went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your coaches: Brent Brookhouse (Combat Sports Writer), Brian Campbell (Combat Sports Writer, “Morning Kombat” co-host), Matthew Coca (Producer), Jack Crosby (Editor), Michael Mormile (Producer) and Brandon Wise (editor-in-chief).

UFC 266 pick, predictions

Volkanovski (c) v 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
Records to date (2021) 30-14 27-17 29-15 30-14 27-16 22-22

Campbell explains why Ortega will win: Finding the perfect balance between the fierce brawler he was in his 2018 loss to Max Holloway and the hitting tech he became against Chan Sung Jung upon his return from a two-year injury layoff will be the key for Ortega to solve the mystery of Volkanovsky. The defending champion is usually two steps ahead of his opponents by setting traps and relying on footwork to always keep the terms of the fight in control. The good news for Ortega is that he has the size, skill, and finishing ability to potentially make up for that. Although Volkanovski publicly criticized Ortega’s combat IQ after the two got to know each other well as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter”, Ortega proved against “The Korean Zombie” that we had yet to see. the best of it. The more unpredictable Ortega can remain, the more effective his strike can potentially be. Holloway has come as close as a fighter can solve this puzzle. Ortega has become a student of the game enough that one final upgrade could be enough to gain the approval of the judges in a close decision.

Brookhouse explains why Volkanovski will win: Questionable judgment in the rematch with Max Holloway unfairly rewrote who Volkanovsky is as a fighter for many. Holloway is an exceptional fighter, as everyone knows, and Volkanovsky landed bigger strikes in the two of his fights with Holloway, not just the first encounter. Volkanovski is a legitimate talent on the feet beyond what many attribute to him, plus he has the ability to blend in with wrestling. Ortega looked improved in his only fight since returning, but it was against Chan Sung Jung, which isn’t exactly a difficult puzzle to solve. Even this improved version of Ortega is not at Volkanovski’s level and it will be a long night for the challenger.

Who will win Volkanovski against Ortega? And how exactly does every UFC 266 fight end? Visit SportsLine now for detailed picks from Kyle Marley, who has won over $ 14,000 on MMA picks in the past 31 months, and find out.