There’s a big-fight feel going around the combat sports world this week. UFC 266 is scheduled to go down this Saturday and it’s hard not to feel excited about such a massive event. The card is absolutely stacked from head to toe, however, no fight is bigger than the main event as UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski will put his championship on the line against the always-dangerous veteran Brian Ortega.
This fight was originally supposed to take place back at UFC 260, however, Volkanovski tested posted for COVID-19 ahead of the event. Some other commitments prevented it from happening sooner. Now, the two men will finally meet this weekend.
There’s a lot to take into account ahead of the fight, which is why this betting guide has everything you need to know heading into UFC 266.
UFC 266: General Information
UFC 266 will take place on Saturday, September 24 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The early prelims will begin at 6 p.m. EST while the preliminary card will begin an hour later and both can be viewed on ESPN+. The main card will begin at 10 p.m. EST and can be viewed on pay-per-view for $69.99.
UFC 266 Odds: Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega
Odds via BetOnline as of Monday, September 20
- Alexander Volkanovski (22-1-0) vs Brian Ortega (15-1-0)
- Moneyline: Volkanovski (-170) vs Ortega (+145)
- Total Rounds: 4.5 — Over (-140), Under (+110)
Check out BetOnline.ag throughout the week for more odds and prop bets.
Volkanovski Favored to Retain
At -170 odds, Volkanovski is BetOnline’s pick to walk out of this weekend’s pay-per-view event as the UFC Featherweight Champion. The 32-year-old veteran has been an absolute force ever since joining UFC, winning each of his nine fights with the company. In fact, Volkanovski hasn’t lost a bout at all in over eight years. Few fighters have seen the rise that he’s currently on, which is why it’s easy to see him as the favorite heading into UFC 266.
While he’s won 11 of his 23 professional MMA matches by knockout, Volkanovski’s fights have been going the distance as of late. Six of his last eight bouts have been decided via decision (five unanimous), hence why BetOnline is favoring the fight to go over 4.5 rounds at -140 odds. Volkanovski clearly has great stamina which should help him if the fight goes the distance. After all, that’s how he defeated Max Holloway for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 245 in the first place.
It’s also hard not to like Volkanovski’s impressive strength, mainly due to his wrestling background. Should the fight end up on the mat, it’s going to be tough for Ortega to get out of that situation. At the end of the day, one small mistake made by the challenger could lead to the Australian’s second successful defense.
Can Ortega Continue His Streak at UFC 266?
Like Volkanovski, Ortega has only suffered one loss in his professional MMA career. That came at the hands of Holloway when he challenged for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 231. Unfortunately for Ortega, the fight ended in the fourth round via TKO due to a doctor stoppage.
Now, Ortega gets another shot at challenging the championship following his victory over the “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung back in October 2020. Ortega won the fight via unanimous decision and was severely out-striking Jung for most of the night. Nevertheless, Volkanovski will be a bigger challenge, however, that fight was necessary to get Ortega’s confidence back.
What matters the most is how much Ortega has improved since he lost to Holloway three years ago. Even though the fight went the distance, it was the champion that dominated the striking game throughout the night as Holloway finished with 290 strikes to Ortega’s 110. It could be a similar outcome at UFC 266 because Volkanovski is averaging 6.02 significant strikes per minute, which could see a raise consider how Ortega absorbs 6.28 per 60 seconds. If his striking and defense haven’t improved, his UFC Featherweight Championship dreams could be crushed again.