Brian Ortega opens as betting favorite to be Ilia Topuria’s first title defense

 Rodriguez v Ortega
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Brian Ortega may have punched his ticket to a third title shot.

Despite coming off a 19-month layoff, Ortega pulled off a sensational win this past Saturday at UFC Mexico City, submitting Yair Rodriguez with a third-round arm-triangle choke after overcoming a freak ankle injury and rocky first round. But was it enough to shortcut the line to featherweight contention? In opening odds released Monday by BetOnline, Ortega is the betting favorite to be the opponent for Ilia Topuria’s first defense of his new UFC title.

Ortega opened at +150 odds to be Topuria’s next opponent, meaning a $100 bet will net $150 in winnings if Ortega gets the fight. Closely trailing Ortega is the man Topuria knocked out to win the belt, former UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (+200), as well as top contenders Movsar Evloev (+425), Max Holloway (+600), and Yair Rodriguez (+900). Former two-division champ Conor McGregor (+2500) also appeared as a longshot pick.

Topuria’s first title defense is expected to take place in the second half of 2024, potentially in his home country of Spain, where Topuria has been received as a superstar.

Check out the opening odds below, as well as odds for the hypothetical matchup of PFL heavyweights Francis Ngannou vs. Renan Ferreira, plus whether McGregor fights in 2024.

Ilia Topuria’s Next Opponent

  • Brian Ortega: 3/2 (+150)
  • Alexander Volkanovski: 2/1 (+200)
  • Movsar Evloev: 17/4 (+425)
  • Max Holloway: 6/1 (+600)
  • Yair Rodriguez: 9/1 (+900)
  • Conor McGregor: 25/1 (+2500)

PFL Heavyweight Fight

  • Renan Ferreira: +250 (5/2)
  • Francis Ngannou: -300 (1/3)

Will Conor McGregor Fight In UFC In 2024?

  • Yes: -130
  • No: -110