UFC 266: Volkanovski Proving his Dominance, Rozenstruik and Blaydes at a Crossroad


UFC 266 is stacked with exciting matches. We have two title bouts and several that will be super interesting. In our opinion, three contests deserve your attention, and all of them are in the men’s competition. 

The headliner is between the champion, Alexander Volkanovski, who defends his featherweight belt against Brian Ortega. According to the , the Aussie is a favorite, but the MMA often brings surprises, so anything is possible. 

Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler clash again after more than fifteen years, while Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik want to stop their negative trends with a win and get back into the elite echelon of the heavyweight division.

Volkanovski will defend his title for the second time against the former title challenger, Brian Ortega, who is, according to many, the only one in the division capable of defeating the Aussie. 

Though, when looking at the betting odds, things aren’t favoring the American who is 5/2 to win the title, while Volkanovski’s odds to defeat the rival stand at 6/11. The bookies believe that the fight has a solid potential to go to the distance, 8/11 for yes and 11/10 for no. Volkanovski to win via decision is 11/8, and Ortega to do the same is 9/2. The champ to defend his throne with a knockout or a disqualification stands at 7/2, and the same for the challenger is 6/1.

Some 17 years ago, Nick Diaz KOd Robbie Lawler, and ever since, these two had some unfinished business. The time has come for them to settle down all that and to see who is better. 

The chances for the win are 50-50, with the bookmakers setting the odds at 10/11 for both fighters. It is more or less similar for the fight going to the distance – 4/5 for yes, while for the opposite to happen is 6/4. For the moment, we don’t have anything else, but as the bout approaches, we are more than sure that the oddsmakers will release a better offer.

Still, seeing these two guys is a treat for every UFC fan, especially those who are a bit older than the new generations. 

Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes will face one another in the matchup that will determine their respective future. Rozenstruik’s rise through the UFC ranks was abruptly snapped against Francis Ngannou, and after that, once more against Ciryl Gane. He won against Augusto Sakai in the last match, getting back on track. 

Meanwhile, Blaydes had four wins before a brutal KO loss to Derrick Lewis, and a failure here would most definitely eliminate him from the title-shot contention.

Razor, as the fans call him, is a big favorite, with the odds on his victory set at 1/3. Meanwhile, Rozenstruik’s triumph is 5/2. The oddsmakers don’t expect this contest to see all three rounds, and the odds on that to happen are 5/4. Meanwhile, for the finish to come sooner, we have the odds at 4/6. KO as the method of win is priced at 7/4, and the submission stands at 5/4. 

One other fight that deserves to be mentioned here is the co-main event of the night, in which Valentina Shevchenko meets Lauren Murphy. This is an encounter for the women’s flyweight title, but it doesn’t attract that much attention despite that status. 

The reason for that is simple. Shevchenko is the absolute favorite, 1/14, and anything else but her easy victory would be a sensation. Murphy’s odds to beat the Bullet, as the fans call the Kazakhstani-Peruvian fighter, are 9/1. The fight going to the distance is 7/4, and Shevchenko’s win via KO is 10/11. This tells pretty much everything you need to know about the difference in this contest. 

After the UFC 266, the next event is the UFC Fight Night: Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker