UFC on ABC 3 Odds, Props, & Picks: Ortega, Rodríguez Duel in New York

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Oddsmakers list Brian Ortega (right) as the favorite against Yair Rodríguez in the main event of UFC on ABC 3. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire)

The UFC hosts its next round of fighting action this Saturday (July 16) at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York with UFC on ABC 3. The event will be live and free to watch on ABC, giving bettors more money to wager with around the betting market.

The Long Island card’s five-round main event sets up former title challenger Brian “T-City” Ortega with fellow contender and fan-favorite Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez in a clash of top-five featherweights that could possibly bless the winner with a title fight. Ortega – priced between -160 and -174 on the moneyline – gets the honor of being the betting favorite, while Rodriguez handles underdog odds between +132 and +145.

A women’s strawweight bout between Michelle “The Karate Hottie ” Waterson and Amanda “Amandinha” Lemos serves as the co-main event. Despite being ranked side by side and each coming off a lopsided loss, Lemos – laying odds as short as -390 at FanDuel – stands as a hefty favorite over Waterson, who plus money-seeking bettors can snatch for as long as +280 at FanDuel.

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UFC Fight Nights tend to feature very few ranked – let alone high-ranked –  opponents on the cards, but UFC on ABC 3 is special. Each of the six bouts on the main card features at least one ranked fighter in their respective division, making this a high-stakes, high-competition event that UFC fans and bettors won’t want to miss.

The prelims air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+ starting at 12 p.m. ET, with the main card set to start at 3 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN+.

UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Rodríguez Odds

Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez Odds UFC Odds

UFC · Sat (7/16) @ 3:00 pm ET

Brian Ortega at Yair Rodriguez
UBS Arena, Elmont, NY

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Former Title Challenger to Bounce Back from Failed Title Bids

Brian Ortega (15-2 MMA; 7-2, 1 NC UFC) finds himself on his third mission to challenge for the belt. He went undefeated in his first 15 professional fights – 14 wins, one no contest – to earn his first shot at the title in December 2018 at UFC 231 against then-champion Max Holloway. The first-time challenger ultimately lost via technical knockout.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist fighting out of Torrance, California bounced back from his title bout loss with a career-best performance over The Korean Zombie, granting him a second title fight – this time against champion Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega had his moments in the bout, but unfortunately fell short of claiming the title yet again in a unanimous decision loss.

Ortega has shown in his last two fights that he deserves to at least challenge for the belt. But before T-City can prove his champion-caliber potential, he must first take down Yair Rodriguez in Long Island.

Rodriguez Gets Promised Title Fight With Win

Fan-favorite featherweight Yair Rodriguez (13-3 MMA; 8-2, 1 NC UFC) has been a crowd-pleaser during his UFC career, earning a whopping eight combined Fight of the Night/Performance of the Night bonuses. But as sweet as it would be to claim another fight bonus, El Pantera is looking at the bigger picture: a promised title shot if he beats Ortega, he told The MMA Hour last Monday.

The show-stopping Mexican fighter, like Ortega, is coming off a loss that did little to no damage to his case to contend for the belt. His recent form isn’t stellar – 2-2 with one no contest in his last five fights – but his highly competitive bout against a supreme fighter like Holloway was enough to maintain his high rank. Currently sitting behind just Ortega and Holloway in the 145-pound rankings, Rodriguez needs just one more victory to vault to the top contending spot.

Ortega vs. Rodriguez Props

Method of Victory (FanDuel)
Ortega by submission +280
Ortega by KO/TKO/DQ +650
Ortega by decision +240
Rodriguez by submission +1900
Rodriguez by KO/TKO/DQ +420
Rodriguez by decision +340

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Total Rounds
4.5 (ov -105 (Caesars), un -120 (BetRivers))

Note: 2:30 min mark of each round indicates the ‘half-round’ for under/over bets. For example, if you bet on ‘Over’ 4.5 rounds, the fight would have to exceed the 2:30 min mark of the fifth round for you to win.

Alternate Total Rounds (DraftKings)
0.5 (ov -3000, un +900)
1.5 (ov -360, un +250)
2.5 (ov -205, un +150)
3.5 (ov -145, un +110)

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Will Fight Go the Distance
Yes +100 (DraftKings)
No -120 (FanDuel)

Ortega vs. Rodriguez Betting Picks

Moneyline: Ortega (-160, PointsBet)

This fight should be very competitive, but I’m laying the odds with T-City. His striking defense isn’t the best, but we know he can handle Rodriguez’s dynamic strikes because we’ve seen him handle it against Volkanovski. The American does a great job at standing in the pocket, and once he closes in for the grapple, he likely finds a finish.

The favorite’s two career defeats came in title bouts against all-time great featherweights Holloway and Volkanovski. Against every other level of opponent, T-City has had his way. Watch Ortega prove it again against a second-tier fighter in Rodriguez.

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Total Rounds: Under 4.5 (-120, BetRivers)

While both fighters have a combined finish rate of roughly 60%, they’re also not the most defensive-minded fighters in the sport, which have resulted in many finishes. Rodriguez’s creative – yet reckless – strikes have awarded him some exciting finishes, but they’ve also left him in deep water. Meanwhile, Ortega has finished six of his last seven wins.

Best Bet: Ortega by Submission (+280, FanDuel)

Ortega put Volkanovski in a couple of near submission finishes last September that looked tight enough to cause the champion to tap. Although it didn’t work, it was still the one time in Volkanovski’s career when he looked truly vulnerable.

I expect a similar approach when attacking Rodiguez. The Mexican fighter was exposed as a poor defensive wrestler against Holloway by getting taken to the ground three times by such a subpar grappler. Imagine what a supreme takedown artist like Ortega will do to a stand-up fighter in Rodriguez, who defends just 60% of takedowns.

Waterson vs. Lemos Odds

Michelle Waterson vs Amanda Lemos Odds UFC Odds

UFC · Sat (7/16) @ 3:00 pm ET

Michelle Waterson at Amanda Lemos
UBS Arena, Elmont, NY

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Lemos Carries Good Form Ahead of Waterson’s Return to Strawweight

Michelle Waterson (18-9 MMA, 6-5 UFC) tried experimenting as a flyweight in a match against Marina Rodriguez. She lost via unanimous decision, sending her back to her natural division of strawweight. Other than experience (27 fights), the Karate Hottie doesn’t have much riding with her into Saturday’s bout, having lost three of her last four contests and seemingly out of her prime.

Meanwhile, Amanda Lemos (11-2-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was enjoying a five-bout winning streak before being choked to submission by Jessica Andrade in her latest fight last April. The Brazilian looks to return to her winning ways this Saturday, starting with an easy matchup against Waterson.

Waterson vs. Lemos Betting Picks

Lemos is simply stronger, better, and way more in her prime than Waterson. So the real discussion isn’t about who will win, but rather how Lemos will win. Waterson suffered her only career KO/TKO loss during her time at a different promotion over 13 years ago, which doesn’t bode well for a strike-first fighter like Lemos – seven wins by KO/TKO, two by submission, two by points – and for Lemos’ knockout props. Amandinha’s punches are strong, but the Karate Hottie’s chin is stronger, which explains why the American hasn’t been stopped in any of her past eight fights. Considering everything, taking Lemos to win by points at +100 on DraftKings seems like the safest and smartest decision.

If you’re a bettor who likes to dream big and believes that the Karate Hottie can pull off the miraculous upset, then your best bet is to back the underdog to win by decision, which pays out at +420 odds at FanDuel. She has won six of 11 career decision bouts, which indicates that she’s capable of performing well until the final bell. She may have to rely on a lucky scorecard, given her long odds.

About the Author
Cyrus Eshaghoff

Cyrus Eshaghoff

Sports Betting Writer
Cyrus Eshaghoff is a New York-based sports writer. Whether it's heated debates or uncovering statistical insights, he loves discussing sports. Check out his Twitter account (@CyrusEshaghoff).

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