When you meet them on the street, you may not think they are fighters. Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez are two of the nicest guys around. But once they step inside the octagon, they will put all that aside and go for a finish. They are not finishing last. The Ortega vs Rodriguez odds may favor the former, but this potentially explosive bout could produce a finish for either side. Don’t blink.
Ortega vs Rodriguez Fight Info
- Fighters: Brian Ortega (15-2-0) vs Yair Rodriguez (13-3-0)
- Location: UFC Apex
- Broadcast: ABC
Ortega Remains A Savage Inside the Cage
Brian Ortega was this close to winning the UFC Featherweight Championship. Alas, Alexander Volkanovski is inhuman and survived one of the deepest guillotine chokes as he took over the fight and beat up Ortega. But even with the lopsided defeat, Ortega is still as hungry as ever and looking to get a rematch. It starts by winning this Saturday as the Ortega vs Rodriguez odds expect.
“I would love that personally,” Ortega began when asked about rematching Volkanovski. “I feel like from what the world’s seeing is he’s won the belt, he’s defended the belt, and the one person that gave him the hardest time was me,” Ortega told Inside Fighting.
To prove just how much of an iron neck Volkanovski said, the same choke finished the likes of Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano. Ortega also owns finishes over typically durable fighters like Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, and Diego Brandao. The 31-year-old is as skilled at finishing fights as the best in the world.
And despite being 0-2 in title fights, there aren’t too many fighters in the division who can make a better case at getting the next shot. Ortega’s last four opponents were champions or fought for a belt and everyone else, he finished.
As a jiu-jitsu ace, Ortega’s wins have usually come via his submissions. But as he showed against the likes of Chan Sung Jung and Edgar, he is well-versed on his feet. He may be into his 30s but he’s still developing as a fighter hence why he remains a steady favorite with the UFC Fight Night odds.
Rodriguez Angling for Long-Anticipated Title Shot
Not many will realize that Rodriguez has been with the UFC for over eight years now. At the time of his debut, Rodriguez looked like the UFC’s first Mexican-born star. He could still fulfill his promise although inactivity due to injuries has slowed his “hype train” by quite a bit. Still, Rodriguez believes the promotion is firmly behind him.
“Yes, that’s been said to me,” Rodriguez told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour regarding a title shot. “That’s what we’re looking for.”
Rodriguez was recently in a five-round war with former champion Max Holloway. Though he lost the fight, Rodriguez managed to win two rounds against the then-indomitable Holloway. Other than Volkanovski, no fighter has done better than that since Holloway started his ascent up the 145 lb. rankings.
Standing at 5’11” with a 71-inch reach, Rodriguez is not the typical featherweight. He is long and rangy, which contributes to his ability to throw a variety of kicks and unorthodox strikes. This unpredictability makes him a difficult opponent and one who is a true wildcard in dethroning Volkanovski.
Rodriguez and his team already have their eyes set on Volkanovski. They, like most who watched UFC 277 event, were blown away by how Volkanovski handled Holloway. But Rodriguez isn’t overlooking his opponent, who also happens to be a friend of his. The Ortega vs Rodriguez odds are against him but it’s a status he is familiar with.
“First things first, I’m going to win this fight and then give the champ some time to heal and then go for it. Right now let’s just take it step-by-step. First things first are Brian Ortega.”
Those who bet on UFC fights can expect Rodriguez to do everything – literally, to win this fight.Follow us on Twitter