The long-awaited UFC 266 is set for the early hours of Sunday morning (BST). MMA fans can get a full preview of each of the main card bouts, as well as betting tips, and an exclusive free bet at Betfred below.
- UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega
- T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Sunday, September 26, at 03:00 BST
- BT Sport
If you’re looking for a full betting preview of each UFC 266 main card bout, betting tips, and an exclusive free bet for sportslens readers, read on:
UFC 266 Fight Card
In the UFC 266 main event, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski looks to retain his strap against Brian Ortega.
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Brian Ortega – Featherweight Championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Lauren Murphy – Strawweight Championship
- Robbie Lawler vs. Nick Diaz
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega Betting Tips
Betfred odds: Volkanovski (4/7); Ortega (11/8)
Alexander Volkanovski makes his second featherweight title defense vs Brian Ortega.
Despite the clear advantage lifetime jiu-jitsu practitioner Brian Ortega (15-1) has on the mat, Volkanovski (22-1), a brawler, is the bookies’ favourite for the bout at 4/7, and for good reason:
Volkanovski is the better stand-up fighter of the two, averaging 6.2 significant strikes per minute at roughly 55% accuracy compared to Ortega’s 4.29 at 38% accuracy. Ortega showcased improved stand-up in his last bout vs the Korean Zombie, out-landing his opponent by 127-62, but Volkanovski will prove a much tougher test.
Volkanovski twice beat former champion Max Holloway; once to win the belt and once to defend it, and was the more efficient and powerful striker in both contests. Ortega, on the other hand, was completely outclassed by Holloway in the Octagon – the fight was brought to a premature close by the referee because of the amount of damage Holloway was inflicting.
It’s how both men tested against a peek Max Holloway that’s most telling when making a betting prediction for this fight and, though Ortega could end the fight in a flash if it goes to the ground, Volkanovski at 4/7 is just too good to turn down. Back the favorite.
Prediction: Volkanovski to win – 4/7 at Betfred.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy Betting Tips
Betfred odds: Shevchenko (1/16); Murphy (7/1)
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (22-3) is in the midst of a seven-fight win streak. The Russian Muay-Thai specialist has lost just twice since entering the UFC; both times to the greatest female competitor to ever compete Amanda Nunes, a bigger opponent who operates at bantamweight (c) and featherweight (c) and has never lost.
Shevchenko’s opponent, Lauren Murphy (15-4) has put together a five-fight streak of her own but was fortunate to take an SDEC decision vs Joanne Calderwood in her last fight after being outstruck.
Shevchenko, on the other hand, has breezed past every title challenger put in her path, adapting her skillset in each fight, winning grappling exchanges against the likes of Jessica Andrade and Jennifer Maia, and lighting up strikers Kaitlyn Chookagian and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In fact, the Russian hasn’t even been tested since the Jedrzejczyk fight in 2018.
Unfortunately, unless you are planning on adding this bet to an ACCA, at 1/16, we advise steering clear of Shevchenko since there’s no value at those odds, and getting a return is too high-risk for most. The champion will almost certainly win the fight, but Murphy is 7/1 on Betfred. So, why not bet on the underdog?
Prediction: Shevchenko to win but bet on Murphy – 7/1 at Betfred
Robbie Lawler vs Nick Diaz Betting Tips
Betfred odds: Lawler (4/5); Diaz (EVS)
When odds were originally broadcast for this long-awaited rematch, Lawler was a sizeable favourite. Diaz (26-9-2NC) hasn’t fought for six years and hasn’t won a fight in 10 years. Though the most recent defeat to Anderson Silva was eventually overturned to an NC (PEDs).
The odds have shortened on a Lawler W in recent weeks, however, as footage of Diaz’s training camp has emerged – he looks sharp, focused, and ready, and the most recent odds reflect the fact that nobody can separate these two veterans.
Lawler (28-15-1NC) has lost four fights on the bounce and, perhaps more importantly, has taken a LOT of damage in recent bouts, eating 172 punches vs Rafael dos Anjos & 179 vs Colby Covington. It’s because of this that backing Diaz makes a lot of sense.
Like his younger brother Nate, Nick Diaz has an iron chin; he’s only been KOd once in his career (KJ Noons, 2006) and likes to stand and bang. This description fits Lawler too, but can he go the pace after his recent wars? We’re not convinced.
Prediction: Diaz to win at – EVS at Betfred
Curtis Blades vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik Betting Tips
Betfred odds: Blaydes (1/3); Rozenstruik (9/4)
Curtis Blaydes (14-3-1NC) suffered defeat last time out vs Derrick Lewis but can boast recent wins over Alexander Volkov and Junior dos Santos on his record, which includes 5 KO wins. Blaydes connects with 3.59 significant strikes per minute and lands with 53% accuracy.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) KOd his last opponent Augusto Sakai and also boasts a W over dos Santos. Before that, Rozenstruik ran out of ideas and gas vs Ciryl Gane and was spectacularly KOd by Francis Ngannou. Rozenstruik lands 3.15 significant strikes per minute and connects with 49% accuracy.
In a fight likely to remain on the feet, the slight advantage in punch power does side with Rozenstruik who has KOd six of his eight UFC opponents to date. Bet on him to repeat the feat at Blaydes’ expense.
Prediction: Rozenstruik to win – 9/4 at Betfred
Jessica Andrade vs Cynthia Cavillo Betting Tips
Betfred odds: Andrade (4/11); Cavillo (2/1)
Andrade (21-9) is the more powerful striker in this bout and has fought a long list of high pedigree opponents. Cavillo does have a slight advantage when it comes to striking defense. Both of these women know how to grapple, so don’t be surprised to see this one go to the mat either.
In truth it’s hard to separate this pair on the stats sheet; it’s a great match-up. But, Andrade’s superior experience could play a role…
Prediction: Andrade to win – 4/11 at Betfred
UFC 266 Free Bet: Bet £10 Get £40 at Betfred
Betfred is running a Bet £10 Get £40 In Free Bets promotion that’s available to anyone joining the site and can be used in conjunction with UFC 266.
To claim £40 in free bet credits at Betfred, follow the instructions below:
- Click any link on this page to go to Betfred
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