Brian Ortega says his two losses in title fights have proven him what it takes to turn out to be a champion, and he intends to point out what he is discovered Saturday when he faces fellow featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez in the principle occasion of UFC Combat Evening. The battle of top-five contenders with title implications will spotlight the principle card (2 p.m. ET) from UBS Enviornment in Elmont, N.Y. The second-ranked Ortega has seen his solely UFC defeats come to present champion Alexander Volkanovski and former champ Max Holloway, each in title fights. Ortega says he nonetheless plans on sporting the belt earlier than he retires, however to earn a 3rd title shot he should get previous the harmful and third-ranked Rodriguez, who might safe his first title bid with a victory.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Ortega as a -160 favourite (danger $160 to win $100), whereas Rodriguez is a +140 underdog within the newest UFC Combat Evening: Ortega vs. Rodriguez odds. Within the co-main occasion, ladies’s strawweight contenders take the highlight when Amanda Lemos (-335) meets Michelle Waterson (+275). Earlier than locking in any UFC Combat Evening: Ortega vs. Rodriguez picks, make sure you check out the MMA picks and betting advice from SportsLine combat expert Andrew Gombas.
Gombas is a former NCAA wrestler who faucets into his expertise on the mat to assist perceive and dissect the X’s and O’s of MMA matchups in a way that units him other than different MMA analysts. He began the MMA handicapping service MMA Knockout Bets in 2018 and has proven a revenue yearly since.
With greater than 1,400 choices tracked by the third-party monitoring service Wager MMA, he has proven a 6 % return on funding for his followers. Over the previous two years, his followers have netted a revenue of greater than $10,000.
Simply final month at UFC 275, Gombas swept the board together with his main-card picks and the five-fight sweep included telling SportsLine members to again Jake Matthews (+125) in opposition to Andre Fialho (-145) in a matchup of welterweight prospects. Matthews dominated from the outset and scored a second-round stoppage to offer Gombas’ backers with one other simple winner. Anybody who has adopted Gombas already has seen large returns.
Now, with UFC Combat Evening: Ortega vs. Rodriguez in sight, Gombas has studied the cardboard from each angle and launched his prime MMA picks. Those picks are only available at SportsLine.
UFC Combat Evening: Ortega vs. Rodriguez preview
Ortega (15-2-1) was extensively considered as a future champion upon becoming a member of the UFC eight years in the past, and he delivered on the potential by beginning his UFC stint with a seven-fight unbeaten streak. He ascended to the highest of the UFC rankings, however got here up quick in title bids in opposition to Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway, who’re chargeable for his two losses within the promotion.
Though his December 2018 loss to Holloway was lopsided, Ortega got here near unseating Volkanovski final September at UFC 266. The wild back-and-forth affair noticed each combatants come near a end on quite a few events, and the challenger appeared to have a fight-ending choke maintain on the champion on at the very least two events. However Volkanovski survived and gained a unanimous resolution.
The memorable conflict gained Combat of the 12 months from quite a few media retailers and Ortega noticed his inventory rise larger than it possible did behind any of his victories. The 31-year-old Los Angeles native will possible lock up a rematch with Volkanovski ought to he get previous Rodriguez, although doing so will not be a simple job.
Rodriguez (13-3-1) has been close to the highest of the UFC rankings for a lot of his eight-year tenure with the promotion. However a slew of accidents has led to quite a few lengthy breaks in between fights, and his mild-mannered disposition has contributed to considerably restricted recognition amongst MMA media and followers.
Even so, the 29-year-old Mexican fighter confirmed all his instruments in a five-round basic important occasion in opposition to Holloway final November. The previous champion gained a slender resolution, however Rodriguez’s efficiency was sufficient to maintain him within the title image. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.
UFC Combat Evening: Ortega vs. Yair predictions
We’ll share one in every of Gombas’ UFC Combat Evening predictions right here: He’s backing Muslim Salikhov (-165) to notch a victory in opposition to Li Jingliang (+145) in a conflict of welterweight prospects on the principle card.
Jingliang (18-7) is an eight-year UFC veteran who has gone 10-5 in 15 appearances with the promotion whereas going through principally upper-tier competitors. The versatile 34-year-old Chinese language fighter was climbing the rankings behind a stretch during which he went 8-2 however took a step again in his final struggle with a first-round stoppage loss to rising star Khamzat Chimaev, who has since reached No. 3 within the rankings. Jingliang now sits at No. 14.
Salikhov (18-2) is a strong prospect who has reeled off 5 consecutive victories following a loss in his UFC debut, however the 38-year-old Russian fighter will probably be taking a step up in competitors in opposition to a ranked opponent on the principle card.
“I anticipate Salikhov and Jingliang to have interaction in a aggressive placing affair. Jingliang is a little more of a conventional striker, whereas Salikhov is extra inventive together with his assaults. I barely lean with Salikhov however anticipate this struggle to lead to a comparatively shut resolution,” Gombas informed SportsLine. See who else to pick here.
How one can make UFC Combat Evening picks
Gombas additionally has sturdy picks for Ortega vs. Rodriguez and different fights on the UFC Combat Evening card. He is additionally backing a fighter who will “have an enormous energy edge” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those UFC Fight Night picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Ortega vs. Rodriguez? And what different picks do it is advisable see? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and discover out.
UFC Combat Evening odds, struggle card
See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here
Brian Ortega (-160) vs. Yair Rodriguez (+140)
Amanda Lemos (-335) vs. Michelle Waterson (+275)
Muslim Salikhov (-165) vs. Li Jingliang (+145)
Su Mudaerji (-255) vs. Matt Schnell (+215)
Shane Burgos (-160) vs. Charles Jourdain (+140)
Miesha Tate (-210) vs. Lauren Murphy (+180)
Jack Shore (-170) vs. Ricky Simon (+150)
Punahele Soriano (-240) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+200)
Invoice Algeo (-185) vs. Herbert Burns (+165)
Dustin Jacoby (-120) vs. Da Un Jung (+100)
Dwight Grant (-140) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (+120)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov (-150) vs. Phil Rowe (+130)
Emily Ducote (-140) vs. Jessica Penne (+120)