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Brian Ortega will clash with Yair Rodriguez in Mexico City on Saturday night, and he is hungry for revenge. Ortega lost the first bout due to injury, but can he avenge his prior defeat to Rodriguez on UFC Fight Night? Ben Rajavuori thinks so, and provides his two best bets for Rodriguez vs. Ortega.
ANALYSIS

Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian Ortega Prediction: Can Brian Ortega Get Revenge At UFC Mexico City?

Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will meet in the octagon once again to rematch their fight from July 16, 2022, this Saturday night at UFC Mexico City. Brian Ortega has not fought since he lost that fight against Rodriguez, as he injured his shoulder in that fight when it popped out of its socket. Ortega now returns for the rematch and will look to put himself back in title contention if he can avenge his loss. The odds are pretty much the exact same as the first time they fought, as Rodriguez is favored at around -155 depending on your book. The comeback on Ortega is +125.

Rodriguez vs. Ortega DATE, TIME, AND WHERE TO WATCH

  • Date: February 24, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian Ortega Prediction

In the first fight, the first round was pretty back-and-forth for the four minutes and 11 seconds that it went for. I expected Yair Rodriguez to have much more control of the fight on the feet, but was pleasantly surprised by Brian Ortega‘s game plan. Ortega knew that Rodriguez has a very versatile attack on the feet and can throw anything from anywhere, as he has exceptional spinning kicks and elbows, and is creative from where he throws his strikes. The easiest way to lose to Yair Rodriguez is to let him get momentum and get in his zone on the feet. Ortega did an excellent job of countering this by just pressuring Rodriguez, putting him on his back foot, and not letting him get into his preferred space. Ortega pressured him early and even got him in the clinch along the fence, gaining two minutes and 24 seconds of control time and landing a takedown. The strikes were almost dead even in that fight up to the end, with Ortega landing 22 significant strikes and Rodriguez landing 23. It was a competitive fight up to that point, and I am very glad we are getting to see the rematch here. For the rematch, I am going to go with Brian Ortega. While Yair Rodriguez certainly has the more versatile attack and finishing upside on the feet, Ortega can counter that with his clinch game and grappling. If Ortega can get this fight up against the fence again and land a takedown, he will be in his wheelhouse, as he is one of the best submission specialists in the featherweight division, and even in the UFC overall. He only has seven submission wins in his career, but he is undoubtedly one of the best grapplers in the division. Yair Rodriguez has yet to be submitted in 20 professional fights, but he also has not faced a submission specialist like Ortega. Rodriguez did fight Chan Sung Jung, but he fought him out of his prime. Ortega is still only 33 and has lots of miles left to go. Additionally, Brian Ortega is one of the most durable fighters in the division. He has yet to be knocked out cold in the UFC, as he has two TKO losses, one of which was a doctor's stoppage, and the other, which was the shoulder injury that just occurred in the first matchup between these two. Ortega can take a hit, and he rarely leaves his chin open, as his striking defense is very good. Assuming Ortega can keep a similar game plan as he did in the first fight, I like his odds as the underdog. If he fights smart and looks to take this to the ground, he can either grind Rodriguez out with control time and his grappling, or even finish the fight with a submission. I would not be surprised if this is the first submission loss for Rodriguez in his career, and the odds for a submission win from Ortega are +340 on FanDuel. I like that prop for this fight, but I like Ortega to win on the money line at +125 as well.

Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian Ortega Pick

Pick: Brian Ortega ML (+125) Click here to see which sportsbook has the best odds

Pick: Brian Ortega by Submission (+340) Click here to see which sportsbook has the best odds

UFC ODDS

Article Author

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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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