On Deck: Looking ahead to Alex Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega

Alex Volkanovski is set to defend his featherweight title against Brian Ortega in the co-main event of UFC 260 on March 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When the fight was made, many were torn on who would win. Volkanovski edged out a controversial split decision win over Max Holloway last time out. Ortega, meanwhile, showed off “T-City” version 2.0 as he dominated Chan Sung Jung to get back into the win column after nearly two years away due to the beating he took from Holloway.

UFC 260 Opening Odds:

Volkanovski: -185
Ortega: +155

Alex Volkanovski (22-1) is very disrespected as a UFC champion due to his last fight against Holloway. Volkanovski clearly beat the Hawaiian at UFC 245 but in the rematch, it was a very close fight that the Aussie edged out by winning the third, fourth, and fifth round. He also holds notable wins over Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, and Darren Elkins.

Brian Ortega (15-1), meanwhile, surprised many with his upset win over the Korean Zombie in October. It was his first fight in 22 months after he suffered a brutal TKO loss to Max Holloway in December of 2018. In his return, Ortega returned with a shaved head and showed off his improvements. In his career, he also holds notable wins over Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, and Clay Guida.

Are the odds surprising?

No, I’m not too surprised with the odds. Alex Volkanovski is the featherweight champ and deserves to be a slight favorite.

In Volkanovski’s UFC career he has only been the betting underdog three times, the Mendes, Aldo and first Holloway fight. Prior to that, he was a sizeable favorite. Ortega, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten much respect from the oddsmakers. The California native has been the betting underdog in four of his nine UFC fight with two other fights being pick’ems. However, there is no question the books couldn’t have made Ortega that big of an underdog after what he did to Korean Zombie just a few months ago.

How might the odds change?

The line has practically stayed the same so far, but with still over a month to go I do expect the odds to change.

Although Volkanovski doesn’t get the respect from casual fans, from the sharps that is a different. Many sharps have backed Volkanovski his entire UFC career and won money on every fight and I expect them to do the same here. The Aussie is the better striker and although Ortega has slick jiu-jitsu his takedowns leave a lot to be desired, and Volkanovski has proven to have a solid takedown defense.

Ultimately, as the fight gets closer, I expect a lot of sharp money to come on the champ and likely take him over the -200 line.

Written by Cole Shelton

Follow Cole on Twitter: @ColeShelton91


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