Brian Ortega missed the opportunity to become the new UFC champion again, losing to Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision in his previous match. At UFC Long Island, he will take on Mexican technical striker Yair Rodriguez, who has returned from a long rest. Here are our predictions for UFC Fight Night: Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez.
Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez Best Bets, Odds, and Picks
Brian Ortega Preview
Brian is a 31-year-old American fighter. He came to the UFC as the undefeated champion of the RFA organization. Ortega made his debut in the UFC in July 2014 in a duel against Mike De La Torre, whom he strangled in the 1st round. The fight was declared invalid since anabolics were found in Ortega's doping test. Brian received 9 months of disqualification and paid a $2,500 fine.
After serving his sentence, Ortega returned to the octagon and went on a series of 6 early victories in a row. So he became the main contender for the championship title and in 2018 he fought against Max Holloway. He lost that fight by technical knockout in the 4th round. It took Ortega 2 years to recover from the defeat.
Bryan returned to the octagon in October 2020 against the Korean Zombie, whom he declassed and defeated by a unanimous decision. Ortega last fought in September 2021. It was a new title fight against Alexander Volkanovski. Brian lost by points yet again.
Brian Ortega's Fighting Style and Strengths
Brian is a versatile fighter. It can be seen that Ortega is acting according to a carefully designed game plan, powerfully meeting the opponent on counterattacks and breaking him into different floors.
On the ground, the athlete relies on BJJ skills. In our opinion, Ortega is the best BJJ fighter in the division, as he received his black belt from the hands of Rener Gracie himself, the legendary master of BJJ. Ortega can successfully reach a submission not just from any position on the ground, but also while in clinch.
We have to note the spirituality of the athlete, which is what pushes him forward no matter the situation. Even when he loses in rounds, Ortega does not give up and does not wait for the end of the fight, but does everything to finish the opponent and get that victory.
The main disadvantage of Brian is the low effectiveness of takedowns. He will not be able to confidently take the opponent to the ground if the fight does not go according to plan. Thus, he does not always manage to use his trump card accordingly.
Yair Rodriguez Preview
Yair is a 29-year-old fighter from Mexico. He came to the UFC after his success in the 1st TUF Latin American season. His debut in the biggest organization in the world took place in November 2014 in a duel against Leonardo Morales, whom he defeated by a unanimous decision.
Yair immediately went on a streak of 6 victories in a row until he met Frankie Edgar in the octagon. The former UFC champion made a bet on the fight and beat the prospect so hard in the ground and pound that the doctor did not allow the Mexican to continue the fight.
He closed this defeat with a legendary victory over the Korean Zombie, when, losing the fight, he knocked out his opponent 1 second before the end of the 5-round fight. After defeating Jeremy Stephens in 2019, Rodriguez did not compete for 2 years. He first recovered from an ankle injury and then received a disqualification for hiding from a USADA doping officer.
Yair's return to the octagon took place in November 2021. He fought against Max Holloway, whom he lost by a unanimous decision.
Yair Rodriguez's Fighting Style and Strengths
Yair's main weapon are his kicks, which he effectively connects against any opponent. He moves well around the octagon, luring the opponent towards him, and reads the opponent's attack line quite well.
When it comes to simple boxing, however, Rodriguez is not so strong. This is because of his background in taekwondo, where Yair has a black belt. His punches lack speed, accuracy, and lightness. Yes, he can throw an eccentric strike based on intuition, as he did against the Korean Zombie, but that rarely happens.
We have to note the struggle of the Mexican when it comes to wrestling. He looks very bad in clinches and also easily allows himself to be translated from a takedown. Max Holloway, who cannot be called a top wrestler, easily carried out takedowns and climbed into the mount and behind Rodriguez.
Ortega vs Rodriguez Predictions
We can't imagine how Yair Rodriguez is going to win. He struggled in all the little wrestling episodes against Max Holloway, who is anything but a good wrestler, and allowed himself to be broken in the ground and pound.
Ortega might not even need a takedown. He can go to Rodriguez in the clinch and from there carry out a guillotine or, going behind his back, throw on RNC. The only one who survived Bryan's tight grips is Alexander Volkanovski. But it’s not for nothing that he is the dominant featherweight champion that no one can take away from the throne. Yair will not endure a good execution of a submission and we think that he will lose ahead of schedule.
If you are interested in our predictions for the full card of the UFC Fight Night: Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez, follow this link to our in-depth analysis of the most important fights.