Check out our picks for UFC 266!
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Four fights are currently confirmed for UFC 266, all of which could arguably qualify as headliners. The true main draw, of course, is the matchup between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, but there remain plenty of other reasons to tune in. We'll explore all of them with our latest UFC 266 betting odds and predictions.
Here are the latest UFC betting odds, courtesy of the folks over at BetOnline:
|Alexander Volkanovski||-175||+150||Brian Ortega|
|Valentina Shevchennko||-1000||+600||Lauren Murphy|
|Robbie Lawler||-115||-105||Nick Diaz|
|Curtis Blaydes||-320||+270||Jairzinho Rozenstruik|
As usual, make sure to double-check these UFC 266 betting lines prior to deciding on any wagers. These UFC odds were released more than two months in advance of the opening bell—which is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021—so they will shift at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks.
We also highly recommend perusing the best UFC betting apps in order to see which type of specials will be available to you ahead of UFC 266. From deposit bonuses to single-bet promotions, there are a wealth of options at your disposal.
UFC 266 Betting Breakdown
Our featured fight will be Volkanovski versus Ortega. But while we'll spend the most time analyzing the showdown between these two, we have UFC picks and breakdowns for the other three sparrings on the docket.
Alexander Volkanovski (-175) vs. Brian Ortega (+150)
Alexander Volkanovski has become a staple in UFC main events for the past three years. His first red-carpet fight came back in December of 2018, at UFC 232, where he beat Chad Mendes. He then defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 237 and Max Holloway at UFC 245 and UFC 251 to secure the featherweight championship.
Opponents are starting to take notice. Even Holloway is on record as saying it's tough to be mad about losing to Volkanovski by decision because the former is so darn good. In just a couple of years, he has become one of the premier fighters in the sport.
On the flip side, Brian Ortega does pose a worthy challenge. He enters with a lifetime UFC record of 15-1, and his switch stance has caused many issues for his opponents and is a huge part of why he's so difficult to hit.
Still, he has run into some issues against upper-end talent. He had a crack at Holloway's featherwise title before Volkanovski, at UFC 231, and was unable to hang. He can be too erratic with his strike combinations, and his switch stance does make it harder for him to land takedowns.
Volkanovski, meanwhile, is the polar opposite on offense. He is landing more than 58 percent of his significant strike attempts and connecting on just over six significant strikes per minute overall. That is patently absurd when you consider the run of opponents he's needed to go up against over the past couple of events.
This is not to say Ortega's case is hopeless. He has the power to end matches in one fell swoop. But Volkanovski is the more well-rounded threat, and frankly, we're surprised he's not a heavier favorite.
OSB Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski (-175)
Valentina Shevchenko (-1000) vs. Lauren Murphy (+600)
Valentina Shevchenko is set to make another defense of her flyweight championship at UFC 266, and oddsmakers aren't giving her challenger, Lauren Murphy, much of a shot.
This says more about Shevchenko. She is working on a seven-fight winning streak, the past five of which have featured successful title defenses.
While she is not the most mobile vertical fighter, she is a powerhouse when landing her combinations and all too skilled at bringing opponents to the mat. Currently, she's averaging over 2.6 takedowns per 15 minutes, an outrageous number that helps her ability to secure victories before going to a decision.
OSB Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko (-175)
Robbie Lawler (-115) vs. Nick Diaz (-105)
Both Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz are looking to end losing streaks that span three matches or longer. Oddsmakers have essentially viewed this as a toss-up; we're almost shocked it hasn't become a pick 'em situation.
Though Diaz can be less efficient with how he utilizes his offensive combinations, we find ourselves loving his speed. He's landing 5.43 significant strikes per minute. That alone isn't enough to give him the edge, but tack on the fact he's two inches taller and has a few pounds on Lawler, and it sways us to his corner.
OSB Prediction: Nick Diaz
Curtis Blaydes (-320) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+270)
Curtis Blaydes is coming off a disappointing loss to Derrick Lewis in February, but he was building up a powerhouse reputation prior to that letdown.
Indeed, Jairzinho Rozenstruik generates a ton of power coming off his back foot and is difficult to bring down to the floor. But Blaydes relies more on precision—victories by a bunch of well-placed jabs, hooks and kicks.
We ultimately think he'll make quick work of Rozenstruik.
OSB Prediction: Curtis Blaydes (-320)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your UFC betting: