Two-time 145-pound title challenger Brian Ortega will risk his No. 2 spot in the division Top 5 when he collides with No. 3-ranked featherweight striker Yair Rodriguez in the upcoming UFC Long Island main event, locked and loaded for Sat., July 16, 2022 on ESPN from inside UBS Arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The bookies at have the 31 year-old Ortega clocking in as the -155 (20/31) betting favorite against the +135 (27/20) underdog role for Rodriguez, 29. UFC Long Island marks the first time “T-City” has been favored since his Clay Guida fight as part of the UFC 199 pay-per-view (PPV) event nearly six years back.

Ortega (15-2, 1 NC) is looking to rebound from his unanimous decision loss to reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266 back in September. The one-time Modelo spokesperson has only lost twice during his eight years under the UFC banner but both losses have come in 145-pound title fights.

Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC) is also coming off a five-round decision loss, thanks to the busier hands of former champ Max Holloway in their UFC Vegas 42 main event. That defeat marked the only appearance for “El Pantera” since late 2019, and like his UFC Long Island opponent, Rodriguez has only fell twice inside the Octagon.

UFC Long Island will also feature the welterweight battle between Li Jingliang and Muslim Salikhov. Elsewhere on the card, Amanda Lemos and Michelle Waterson get busy at strawweight, while Jack Shore and Ricky Simon hook ‘em up at 135 pounds. In addition, Dustin Jacoby returns opposite light heavyweight bruiser Da-un Jung.

For the rest of the UFC Long Island fight card and ESPN lineup click here.

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