Featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez meet in the UFC Fight Night main event at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, on Saturday. In this classic matchup of grappler vs. striker, both fighters enter the bout looking to return to the win column after suffering losses in each of their last fights.
Ortega, a submission ace ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s featherweight rankings, fell to reigning champ Alexander Volkanovski in a title fight at UFC 266.
Rodriguez, a standup specialist, is No. 9 in ESPN’s featherweight rankings. He couldn’t stop Max Holloway in his last appearance in the Octagon, losing by unanimous decision.
With Ortega and Rodriguez considered to be among the top fighters the division has to offer, this could be a bout to determine who gets a shot at the title next. Will Ortega get a second chance against Volkanovski, or will Rodriguez secure his first shot at the belt?
ESPN’s Marc Raimondi touched base with an MMA coaching veteran to get his perspective on a pivotal featherweight matchup and how things could play out inside the Octagon. ESPN’s betting experts Ian Parker and Reed Kuhn added their insights and analysis for everything from the main event to some intriguing bets they like lower down the card.
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