On September 25, UFC 266 is going to take place in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. The headlining of the event is going to be a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and #1 contender Brian Ortega. This is not going to be the only title fight on the card. Valentina Shevchenko will defend his title against Lauren Murphy, and before this fight, Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler will share the octagon for the second time, after 17 years.
The featherweight title fight is exciting. Both fighters were grapplers but learned striking on a high level. Volkanovski did not even use his wrestling skills against Max Holloway, one of the best strikers in the UFC. Brian Ortega defeated Korean Zombie and knocked him down several times during the fight, so they proved that they are completed mixed martial artists.
Both fighters have suffered losses only once in their career, but Volkanovski is undefeated in the UFC. He defeated guys like Max Holloway (twice), Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, and many others. He started his career as a freestyle wrestler and continued as a Rugby player. During his Rugby career, he was 97 Kilograms, and that explains his strength. He was participating in Middleweight, welterweight, and lightweight divisions, too, but finally, he won the title in featherweight.
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Unlike his rival, Brian suffered his first-ever loss in the UFC. Max Holloway outstroke him in the title fight, and the doctor stopped the fight in the 4th round. He missed his title chance almost three years ago, but now he is back; he earned a fantastic victory against Korean Zombie and looks fresh and dangerous. His striking skills even improved, and his BJJ skills are one of the best in the promotion.
It is interesting what plans will these two fighters choose. Ortega does not have good takedowns, and Volkanovski has an impressive takedown defense, so if this fight continues on the ground, it will be Volkanovski's incentive. But most likely, these two athletes will start fighting in the striking, and the first one who will feel he is losing the fight will begin using his wrestling skills.
From my point of view, Ortega is way more dangerous on the ground so that Volkanovski won't try takedowns. Even though Ortega is higher than his opponent, Alexander will have a reach advantage.
Volkanovski will open this fight as a favorite and have odds around 1.6, while Ortega's win will have an odd 2.35.
It is hard to predict in such a fight, but from my point of view, Volkanovski will win this bout and fights trilogy with Holloway.