Alexander Volkanovski v. Brian Ortega UFC 266 Odds Movement: The Challenger Has Majority of Bets, Money
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UFC 266 is headlined by a contentious matchup between Alex Volkanovski and Brian Ortega for the featherweight belt.
The two fighters had originally been scheduled to fight for the title in March before Volkanovski tested positive for the coronavirus.
Volkanovski and Ortega were the two coaches on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality show that pits two MMA teams against one another.
Volkanovski is currently the -175 favorite at BetMGM to defend his title for the second time while Ortega is a +145 underdog to finally nab the belt he’s been in contention for since 2017.
Ortega had opened as a +165 underdog while the 32-year-old Australian’s odds opened at -200.
About 68% of the tickets and roughly 61% of the handle are on the challenger to take Volkanovski’s belt.
The 22-1 Volkanovski won the belt in 2019 with a commanding unanimous decision victory over Max Holloway. Volkanovski entered that bout a +145 underdog.
The champion followed that up with another win over Holloway in July 2020, but that one was more controversial. The Australian won via split decision, but some prognosticators feel as if Holloway came away with the victory. Volkanovski had been a -210 favorite to defend his crown.
Volkanovski’s only loss came outside of the UFC and in 2013.
Ortega had been an undefeated 13-0 before he lost to Max Holloway in a championship fight on Dec. 2018. Ortega had been the slight -105 underdog to snag the belt that night.
He didn’t fight again until Oct. 2020, when he beat The Korean Zombie in a dominant performance. Ortega had been the +175 in that matchup.
The co-main event between Valentina Shevchenko and Lauren Murphy has seen a whopping 87% of the money go to Shevchenko despite her -1600 juice.
The flyweight champion had opened as a -750 favorite to defend her belt and has seen her odds shorten by more than a multiple of two.
Murphy opened at +550 and has seen her odds lengthen all the way to +850.
The third-most notable fight on the card is between Robbie Lawler and Nate Diaz.
While Lawler has about 53% of the total money on this fight, Diaz has 58% of the total tickets.
Lawler opened as a -125 favorite and those odds have shortened to -145. Diaz opened as a +105 underdog and is now +120.