If both guys come in at their absolute best, I would favour the champ to defend his belt. However, there are two x factors affecting Volks ability to reach his physical best. 1) The long lay off. Its the longest lay off of Volks career and we do not know how such a lay off may affect his performance in regards to ring rust. Ortega (whilst not having fought in the last 11 months) may actually have a little less ring rust compared to the champ. 2) More importantly, Volkanovski had a really bad bout of Covid whereby he was unable to reach his full potential in the early half of his training camp. https://www.mmamania.com/2021/5/30/...ining-i-dont-know-if-its-because-of-the-covid We saw Covid or at least lasting effects of it probably impacted his training, and we have seen how a bad bout of covid has potentially impacted a fighter in a UFC fight. When garbrandt fought font, it seemed he was more rusty and less active than he usually has appeared in the past, probably a side effect of having a bad bout of Covid IMO. I know other fighters have tested positive with covid but few experienced symptoms like Volk and Garbrandt. With these two x factors, i won't be surprised if Ortega beats Volkanovski tonight. What do you think Sherbros?