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The UFC is back on ABC for the third time with a fight night card from Long Island. The fights start bright and early tomorrow. Ben Rajavuori breaks down the main event fight between Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez.

Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez Predictions: Two UFC Long Island Best Bets

The UFC is back on ABC for the third time with a fight night card from Long Island. The fights start bright and early tomorrow, with the first bout on the prelims starting at 8:00 a.m. PST. The main event for tomorrow night features featherweights Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez. If Rodriguez wins, it is possible he gets the next chance at the champion, Alexander Volkanovski. If Ortega wins, he will be one step closer to a rematch with the champ. Ortega is currently favored to win the bout, with most books giving him a -170 price tag and a comeback of +145 on Rodriguez. Who will take this highly anticipated matchup?

UFC Fight Night Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

When: July 16

Time: 2:00 PM EDT

Where: UBS Arena, Elmont, NY

Where to Watch: ABC & ESPN+

Click Here for Complete UFC Fight Night Odds

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Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez Prediction

Brian Ortega was so close to hearing "and new" on September 25th last year. Ortega had three submission attempts in that fight, but none were closer to making Volkanovski go unconscious than his mounted guillotine attempt. Ortega clipped Alexander before jumping straight into a mounted guillotine attempt, which appeared to be locked in, but Alexander was able to stay calm and work his way out. This displayed two things: How hard it is to finish Alexander Volkanovski and that Brian Ortega is a dangerous man. This submission attempt is the closest that anyone has ever come to finishing Volkanovski, and if that same choke were applied to 99% of the other fighters on the roster, they would either be tapping or asleep.

Ortega is a black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist. This has been displayed in his seven career submission wins and dominant grappling. However, the man across the octagon tomorrow night, Yair Rodriguez, has also never been submitted before. Although, I would say Ortega is one of the best grapplers Rodriguez will have faced, besides maybe BJ Penn. Rodriguez is a striker through and through, and we haven't seen him deep in the waters in a grappling exchange yet, and as we just saw from the Ortega/Volkanovski fight, that could prove pivotal against Ortega.

Ortega and Rodriguez appear to be at the prime of their careers. I know Ortega is 1-2 over his last three fights, but that was against Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski, who are maybe the two greatest featherweights of all time. Rodriguez also just lost to Holloway, albeit by decision, but prior to that, he put a beating on Jeremy Stephens, and prior to that, he knocked the Korean zombie out.

Rodriguez is a black belt taekwondo fighter who uses a solid amount of kicks. He is also a fluid striker with a wide variety of attacks. Because of this, I do give Rodriguez a slight edge on the feet, but only over the first few rounds. This is a five-round main event, and Ortega's cardio and durability gives him the edge the later this fight goes. Ortega has shown to be much fresher and more comfortable fighting in the fifth. Rodriguez has shown he slows down as the fight progresses, especially into the fifth.

This fight comes down to takedown defense for me. I expect Ortega to try and grapple early, and how Rodriguez defends those first few attempts will tell the story of the fight. Ortega is an extremely tough man to beat, and his only two losses in his career are two of the best featherweights we have ever seen in the UFC. Rodriguez is tough as well, but this will also be one of his biggest tests as far as grappling is concerned.

I'm sure Rodriguez has been preparing his submission defense for this bout, but executing inside the octagon when the time comes is entirely different. I expect Ortega to use his grappling to neutralize his disadvantage in the striking exchanges at a distance and to wear Rodriguez down over the course of the fight. I will eat the juice on Ortega and back him to win by submission in a long-shot play for a nice price.

Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez Best Bets

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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