Las Vegas hosts the next UFC fight night in late, September. With two title bouts happening on the main fight card, we are all excited to see how things shake out. The men’s featherweight championship match could be interesting but it is the “battle of the legends” that so far has generated the most buzz.
|UFC 266 Odds -- Main Event|
Both of these fighters are legends. They have been fighting in UFC and a variety of outlets since 2001. Twenty years is a long time and yet the buzz is something else for this fight. When there was that first peak at the odds, they were pretty much dead even.
Robbie Lawler was a very, and I mean very, slight favorite. Lawler came in on two of the sites at around -115. Nonethless, Nick Diaz still came in about as close to even as one can get at -105. That is something else.
Basically, this is going to be one of those interesting fights that could go either way. This is one of the few non-title fights that are scheduled to go five rounds. Will this last five rounds? That’s a great question. The even better question may just be how much will these two fighters have left in the tank? Can they pace themselves or will one or both run out of energy?
This will likely be the toughest match to handicap on the main card. Why is that? For one, this is a non-main event fight. For two, we debate in a lot of ways that this is a main event pairing two legends in the octagon and other disciplines. It is fun to see fighters from when UFC’s were still in double digits.
It is incredible to think that these two fighters met 17 years ago at UFC 47. Diaz ultimately won by knockout in what was a spirited affair to say the least. Diaz scored the only knockdown which came 91 seconds into Round 2. There was footage of this fight.
Again, the fact that Diaz threw more strikes and landed more significant blows 17 years ago holds little relevance now. It is more impressive to think that both of these fighters are still going at it. Who is going to win this one? Honestly, Robbie Lawler has come a long way from those early days.
As long as we can get Lawler around even money, he is our pick for this UFC 266 clash.
Our pick for the men’s welterweight bout of legends is Robbie Lawler (-110)
The main event for women’s UFC is one featuring Valentina Shevchenko who is quite the fighter in her own right going up aginst upstart Lauren Murphy. This fight will be the co-headliner. Murphy comes in ranked #3 among all flyweights and was the former Invicta FC Bantamweight champion.
American Murphy can strike very quickly and comes in where she dominated the bantamweight division in Invicta. This is a huge step up in competition as the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian MMA and Muay Thai fighter can hurt one in a variety of ways. Shevchenko can come off the mat or kick her opponent into submission. She also can definitely bring some powerhouse punches or kicks.
Shevchenko has a unique ability to hold out in fights waiting to pick her spots. She has five submissions or KO/TKO’s in her last eight fights. In between, she did lose to Amanda Nunes twice. That second fight is talked about to this day and some argue Shevchenko might have won that fight or that it was too close to call.
In this case, we recommend betting on Shevchenko (-600). She is the champion and has defended her title with ease five times now. Three of those performances have been noted as having been the performance of the night. Lauren Murphy can accomplish great things but Shevchenko has accomplished greater.
This one is a tough battle to figure out. The theory is that Alexander Volkanovsky should win easily and he may very well do that. Ortega, however, is the #2 featherweight and has been in this weight class for almost 11 years. He is a longstanding, wily veteran, who may be able to hurt Volkanovsky a bit.
Now, there is one equalizer in all of this and that was COVID. Volkanovsky was hospitalized with an intense case. It took the champion a long time to recover, then begin the long road back to getting into fighting shape again.
With the Austrailian fully ready and able to fight, the expectation is that he should defeat Ortega by decision next month at least. Volkanovsky is 22-1 including two wins against Max Holloway and one against Jose Aldo. His punches usually end most fights and that is possible here too. Our pick is Alexander Volkanovsky at -175.
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