UFC Fight Night Picks: Can Brian Ortega Rebound vs. Yair Rodriguez After Loss to Alexander Volkanovski?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
UFC Fight Night Picks: Can Brian Ortega Rebound vs. Yair Rodriguez After Loss to Alexander Volkanovski?

In advance of a major Fight Night this Saturday, July 16, the betting odds on UFC for Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez are starting to get a little wild. Though Ortega opened up as the heavy favorite, bettors and oddsmakers alike appear to be reading deeply into his loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266. Rodriguez's odds have subsequently inched closer toward even money in recent days. But is he actually a threat to take down Ortega?

Our latest batch of UFC Fight Night picks are here to find out. That's not all, either. We have predictions for Saturday's entire main card, including Amanda Lemos vs. Michelle Waterson, Muslim Salikhov vs. Li Jingliang, Su Mudaerji vs. Matt Schnell and Shane Burgos vs. Charles Jourdain.

Before we get to our picks, though, here are the latest betting odds for the July 16 UFC Fight Night, courtesy of BetOnline:

Brian Ortega-180+140Yair Rodriguez
Amanda Lemos-390+280Michelle Waterson
Muslim Salikhov-186+144Li Jingliang
Su Mudaerji-295+220Matt Schnell
Shane Burgos-186+144Charles Jourdain

As you can probably tell, this UFC Fight Night slate is setting up to be electric, even if you don't factor in Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez. With the exception of two matchups, every other head-to-head is tightly contested according to MMA oddsmakers. We recommend getting your bets in as soon as possible in case these lines start moving in less palatable directions.

Speaking of which: Please remember to double-check all these UFC betting lines prior to submitting your wagers. All UFC odds are subject to shift right up until the opening bell, and our lines are accurate entering Wednesday, July 13.

Also please consider scrolling through our extensive reviews of the top online sportsbooks. With all the information we've provided, we're confident you'll have no issue spotting the best UFC betting opportunitie as well as the best UFC betting sites for 2022.

Brian Ortega Gets Back in Win Column vs. Yair Rodriguez

Brian Ortega has now dropped two major matches against Volkanovski and Max Holloway. But there's no shame in that. He earned those head-to-heads in the first place with his fast-twitch punching ability. He's currently landing more than 4.15 significant strikes per minute. His quickness just isn't on the same level as some of the UFC elites.

Yair Rodriguez doesn't pose as difficult of a challenge. He is the faster decision-maker overall, but Ortega generates a lot more power with his combinations and has shown the capacity to take tough matches the full five rounds, even in loss.

We totally understand why Rodriguez has picked up steam. He's got Ortega beat as a vertical defender. But this still feels like a matchup in which Ortega's power will prevail.

OSB Prediction: Brian Ortega (-180)

Brian Ortega To beat Yair Rodriguez

Amanda Lemos Makes Quick Work of Michelle Waterson

After four straight victories, Amanda Lemos fell to Jessica Andrade at a Fight Night in April. This isn't the least bit concerning in our eyes. Lemos' date with Michelle Waterson should feel like a tune-up meeting relative to Andrade.

Waterson is a gritty fighter, but she doesn't land her offensive combinations nearly as often. Lemos, by comparison, is getting in more than five significant strikes per minute and converting them at a whopping 57 percent clip.

Almost needless to say, we don't expect this match to go the distance.

OSB Prediction: Amanda Lemos (-390)

Amanda Lemos To beat Michelle Waterson

Are Muslim Salikhov and Li Jingliang Evenly Matched?

Welcome to Upset Central. Population: Muslim Salikhov and Li Jingliang.

Although oddsmakers are treating Salikhov as the overall favorite, we believe they're reading too much into his recent hot streak. Granted, he's rattled off five straight victories, but none have come against someone as relentless as Jingliang.

Though he lost his last fight at UFC 267, Jingliang is averaging almost six combined significant strikes and takedowns landed per minute. We don't see Salikhov holding up against that type of dual threat.

OSB Prediction: Li Jingliang (+144)

Li Jingliang To beat Muslim Salikhov

Su Mudaerji Should Waltz to Victory Over Matt Schnell

At the moment, we don't see a case for Matt Schnell pulling this one out against Su Mudaerji. Oddsmakers apparently don't either.

Schnell is not only landing fewer strikes and takedowns per minute than his opponent, but he's doing so on forgettable accuracy. The sub-39-percent connection rate on strikes is particularly unnerving, knowing how slippery Mudaerji's evasive maneuvers can be.

OSB Prediction: Su Mudaerji (-295)

Su Maduaerji To beat Matt Schnell

Can Shane Burgos Hold Up Against Pressure from Charles Jourdain?

Charles Jourdain is better suited to ward off more of Shane Burgos' strike attempts than most in the UFC. Ultimately, however, we don't think that'll be enough to snag the victory.

Consider this: Burgos is landing nearly eight significant strikes per minute. That's one of the highest markets in all of UFC. Opponents who can slow matches down to a crawl have given him trouble in the past, but Jourdain isn't much of a grappler or wrestler. This match could be over before you know it.

OSB Prediction: Shane Burgos (-186)

Amanda Lemos To beat Michelle Waterson

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your UFC betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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