Slowly but surely, the UFC fight lineups are getting better as the promotion continues its run on UFC Fight Island (Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE). It’ll peak on October 24th with the big UFC 254 pay-per-view, headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his UFC Lightweight Championship against the interim champion, Justin Gaethje.
But, back to this coming weekend. That would be UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs The Korean Zombie, a #1 contender’s fight in the UFC’s featherweight division. Ortega would be Brian Ortega, who was undefeated before losing a title fight against Max Holloway two years ago. The Korean Zombie would be Chan Sung Jung, who also unsuccessfully competed for the title, seven long years ago.
The odds are currently favouring the zombie from Korea – as of this writing Jung is at
10/21 on MansionBet’s board. Let’s dig deeper into this matchup and see if the bookies are right (spoiler: they normally are).
First, Ortega hasn’t fought in almost two years, and ring rust is a real thing, so that’s a negative in his column. Plus, he got really schooled and brutalized in that fight against Holloway. Ortega is four years younger, which is a plus, but the Zombie has a three-inch reach advantage. The most important factor on predicting a winner in a fight – superior striking stats – all point to Jung. His output, his accuracy, his defense – they all trump Ortega’s numbers. In fact, Ortega gets hit more often by his opponents than he dishes out. Ortega relies on his grappling and submission skills to win fights, but Zombie is a good grappler as well.
With Ortega being a notorious slow starter and his tendency of letting his opponent hit him early and often points to a Chan Sung Jung win. He’s my pick in this one.
Co-Main Event: Chookagian vs Andrade
The co-main event is a battle of top UFC Women’s Flyweight contenders, Katlyn Chookagian and Jessica Andrade. Andrade is the former UFC Strawweight Champion, but after losing her belt to Zhang Weili, then losing a rematch to the woman she took the belt off, Rose Namajunas, she’ll be moving up to 125 pounds. Meanwhile, Blonde Fighter (a very literal nickname) lost a title fight to Valentina Shevchenko, then bounced back to beat her sister, Antonina Shevchenko, in her last fight.
Former champ Andrade is the favourite here, coming in at
5/8. I’m agreeing with this one – this number might even be a bit low. While she’ll be the one coming up in weight in this battle, she be the much stronger fighter (plus she used to fight at 135 pounds back in the day). With her scary power and strength, there’s a good chance at a TKO or KO finish in this one – Andrade to finish within the distance is
9/4, which might be worth a splash of money.
Want a big underdog? Then look no further than the debuting Mark Striegl, currently at
3/1 on the Mansion board. Striegl is a Filipino Olympian in combat sambo and a grappling wiz. His opponent on Saturday, Said Nurmagomedov, is also a grappler. However, he’s only landed a paltry 7% of his takedown attempts in the UFC thus far. Plus, Striegl has submitted top competition in the past, such as top UFC flyweight Kai Kara-France. Striegl at such a huge number is worth your consideration (but, hey, it’s your money, do as you please).
While submission master Gillian Robertson is favoured at
5/12 to beat Poliana Botelho on Saturday, a bet on her to submit her foe could make you some decent money. While the submission odds aren’t posted yet, when they are consider getting in on it.