Two UFC champions currently enjoying lengthy winning streaks will put their respective belts on the line when they enter the octagon for UFC 266 as betting favourites. Alexander Volkanovski will be gunning for a 20th straight victory when he defends his UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega as heavy chalk in the UFC 266 main event. The ladies capture the spotlight in the co-main event, as UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko battles No. 3 contender Lauren Murphy, also as heavy chalk.
CanadianBettingSites takes an early look at all the odds and trends for UFC 266, which is scheduled for Saturday September 25 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Sports bettors looking to get in on UFC action for the first time can check out our indepth betting guide and reviews to learn all they need to know to get the best out of their UFC betting experience.
|UFC 266 Odds|
Volkanovski Well Rested
Alexander Volkanovski will defend his UFC featherweight title for the first time in over a year, when he takes on Brian Ortega at UFC 266. “The Great” has enjoyed a long but steady rise to the top of the UFC featherweight division, posting wins in each of his past 19 outings to improve his professional MMA record to a sparkling 22-1-0. Listed as a heavy favourite to successfully defend his crown, with a $20 bet at Sports Interaction (1.50) producing a return of just $30, Volkanovski has endured a challenging road to the title. After disposing of former champion Jose Aldo with a third-round unanimous decision win at UFC 237, Volkanovski finally received a long awaited title shot, and didn’t disappoint. T-Mobile Arena was the scene for his epic clash with Max Holloway, which ended with a unanimous nod from the judges, and the championship belt.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 12, 2019
He wasted no time giving Holloway a rematch, with the duo facing off last summer at UFC 251, where Volkanovski was lucky to escape with a split decision win. Now set to return to action following the longest pause of his professional career, Volkanovski is well positioned to flash the dominating punching power that earned him the victory in nine of his first 15 pro fights. However, The Great has adapted his fight game since joining the UFC in 2016, with six of his past eight contests getting settled by the judges.
Can Ortega Keep Pace?
That ability to go the distance could prove to be a major asset against Ortega, who makes his second bid for the UFC featherweight title as a lengthy underdog, with a $20 bet at Funbet (3.35) producing a potential return of $67. A highly respected submission specialist, who has seen seven of his 15 career wins coming by tap-out, Ortega is coming off a five-round decision win over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in his last outing at UFC Fight Island 6.
— Pound For Pound: MMA Podcast (@PFP_Podcast) October 18, 2020
That win comes on the heels of his failed attempt to take the UFC featherweight crown from Holloway at UFC 231, a fight that ended with a doctor’s stoppage in the fourth round, and a Fight of the Night bonus. Now faced with the challenge of defeating an opponent with plenty of experience fighting in championship rounds, and who has spent little time on the mat, Ortega is likely to struggle to keep pace with the champion over a long dragged-out fight. That adds value to the odds of this clash ending in UNDER 4.5 rounds, with a $20 bet at Bet99 (1.96) paying out $39.20.
Valentina Poised for Another Mismatch
There is real potential for another mismatch in the co-main event at UFC 266, when Valentina Shevchenko battling challenger Lauren Murphy as massive chalk, with a $20 bet at Funbet (1.06) producing a payout of just $21.33.
— JReal (@BloodyCanvasJon) December 8, 2020
“Bullet” struggled in her UFC debut as a women’s bantamweight but has emerged as a dominant force since returning to the women’s flyweight division, posting seven straight wins. Shevchenko ascended to the UFC women’s flyweight championship with a stunning unanimous decision upset win over Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231. She has shown steady improvement in her five successful title defences, posting knockout victories in three of those contests, capped by a crushing second-round TKO win over Jessica Andrade in her last outing at UFC 261.
Murphy Gets Long-Awaited Title Shot
It has been a decidedly tougher road to the first title shot of her career for Lauren Murphy. The 38-year-old struggled at times to remain in the UFC mix while falling to defeat in four of her first six fights with the promotion but has enjoyed an impressive renaissance during her current five-fight win streak.
Lauren Murphy wins via SD versus Joanne Calderwood. Very close fight. That’s Murphy’s fifth in a row, and it may have just punched her ticket to a 125 title shot vs. Shevchenko.
She didn’t mention in the champ in her post-fight interview, though. That surprised me.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 13, 2021
Listed as a distant underdog to claim the title on the UFC 266 odds, with a $20 bet at Betsafe (8.05) set to produce a hefty $161 return, Murphy is coming off a narrow split decision win over Joanne Calderwood in her most recent contest at UFC 263. Overall, Murphy has seen three of her four recent wins come by decision. However, with each of those victories came in three-round contests, “Lucky” continues to enjoy no experience fighting in championship rounds. That is likely to leave her at a distinct disadvantage against the champion, and unworthy of a value wager, at least not until fight night draws closer.
- Betway100% Deposit Bonus up to $200Bet NowNew Canada customers only. Opt-in required. Bonus based on 1st deposit of $10+. You will get a 100% matched bonus up to $200 based on your first deposit. Full terms apply.
- Sports Interaction100% Bonus up to C$500Bet NowNew customers only. Min $20 deposit. Max $500 CAD bonus. Rollover is 5x deposit + bonus.
- Bet99100% Deposit Bonus up to $600Bet NowMinimum deposit of $20
- Betsafe100% up to C$1000 welcome bonusBet NowNew customers only|Min. deposit $20|Bonus amount is 100% of the deposit up to $1000|Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 5x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money.
Diaz an Intriguing Underdog in Return to Octagon
Earlier in the evening, a pair of veteran welterweights seeking to end lengthy slides clash, as Robbie Lawler takes on Nick Diaz. Lawler has posted just one win in six fights since July 2016, but remains a slim favourite on the UFC 266 odds, with a $20 bet at Betway (1.80) generating a $36 return.
Nick Diaz! Robbie Lawler! #OnThisDay – we saw future stars collide 💥[ 📱 Watch more classics on @UFCFightPass ] pic.twitter.com/KU1RfIvG52
— UFC (@ufc) April 2, 2021
Lawler also has a history working against him in his date with Diaz, who handed him a second-round knockout defeat in their first meeting 17 years ago at UFC 47. It has been over six years since Diaz last stepped into the octagon. However, that has not dampened his position at the sportsbooks, with a $20 bet on Diaz’s victory at Sports Interaction (2.00) returning $40.