UFC on ABC 3: Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez Picks and Predictions

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Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez face off on Saturday afternoon in a featherweight showdown in the Main Event of UFC on ABC 3 at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. Ortega is currently ranked second in the division while Rodriguez is ranked 3rd.

Brian Ortega comes into this fight with a 15-2 record overall but he has lost two of his last three fights. Ortega’s last fight was against Alexander Volkanovski for the belt, and he lost that by unanimous decision. Ortega was outstruck 214-88 and there wasn’t really much doubt that he had lost. Ortega is averaging 4.15 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.69 significant strikes per minute. Ortega is averaging 0.87 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 24 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 56 percent of his takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this matchup is Yair Rodriguez who sits with a 14-3 record overall but he also has lost two of his last three fights. His last fight came against Max Holloway in November of 2021 and he lost by unanimous decision. He took 230 significant strikes in that fight and he needs to try and take less damage here. Rodriguez has a lot riding on this fight, as he might get a title shot if he wins this one. Rodriguez is averaging 4.65 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.09 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 0.86 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 28 percent of his takedown attempts and stops 60 percent of his takedown attempts. 

Ortega has taken a ton of damage over his last few starts, and I expect that is going to happen again in this game. Ortega is the better grappler, but Rodriguez is the better striker and he also has a reach advantage in this fight. I expect Rodriguez is going to use those power punches to inflict a ton of damage here, and he is going to get the job done. Back Rodriguez to pull the upset here and he will be one step closer to that title shot. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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