In the UFC Fight Island 6 main event, we have a super exciting featherweight bout with title implications. Brian Ortega returns to the Octagon for the first time in almost two years to take on ‘The Korean Zombie’ in a fight that will decide who is next in line for 145lb king Alexander Volkanovski. Who’ll earn the next featherweight title shot tonight? Let’s find out what the LowKickMMA staff think…

Jordan Ellis: This is a great fight and I’m really glad we are finally getting it. I give the edge to ‘The Korean Zombie’ mainly because he has been more active as of late. I expect he will be able to avoid Brian Ortega’s serious submission game and keep this fight on the feet. If ‘T-City’ hasn’t made some vast improvements to his striking defence during his layoff it could be an early night. Either way, I expect ‘TKZ’ to win but it’s hard to predict how when I’m unsure exactly what version of his opponent will show up.

Prediction: ‘The Korean Zombie’

Harry O’Connor: Often Brian Ortega can be known to take damage and I think this might cost him in this fight. Looking at TKZ’s last fight against Edgar, it was a demolition job and I’m not sure that Ortega will be able to withstand that if TKZ is to do the same, I also wonder whether Ortega will be the same after his loss to Holloway, he also hasn’t fought since the end of 2018. I’m going to go with TKZ by TKO in the second round.

Prediction: ‘The Korean Zombie’

Karim Nathan: This is a tough one because I’m not sure how Ortega will look like after almost 2 years out, I think we will definitely see improvements in his striking but he will ultimately try to get it to the mat and I think TKZ’s takedown defense will be good enough for him to keep the fight standing and for Zombie to get the late KO in round 4 or 5.

Prediction: ‘The Korean Zombie’

Ross Markey: Ortega’s certainly had quite the lengthy layoff ahead of this one, just shy of two years, in fact. Since his return from transcription, Zombie has looked almost faultless – scoring knockouts in each of his three wins. Even in his stunning, buzzer-beating defeat to Yair Rodríguez – he looked quite comfortable in the grand scheme of things. He’s also adopted a real sharp standup game, and his rare twister finish of Leonard Garcia shows us his often overlooked grappling chaps. Ortega’s key to success in this one comes late and more likely than not, on the ground – a place I don’t envision Jung allowing him to get comfortable at. Zombie to finish with strikes before the third round. 

Prediction: ‘The Korean Zombie’

Abhinav Kini: This is a fight I’ve been eager to see for a while now. However, Brian Ortega’s prolonged absence does make me edge towards the Korean Zombie even more than I did if they fought in December last year. Ortega isn’t one who proactively looks for takedowns and submissions. He will go for it if there’s but he doesn’t mind striking either as we’ve seen in all his recent fights. And for that reason, I don’t think things will end well for him when he’s facing a superior striker in TKZ who has fight-ending power and good takedown defense. I have Zombie getting the KO finish within 2 or 3 rounds.

Prediction: ‘The Korean Zombie’

Ryan MacCarthy: Zombie has looked very very good since he returned to the octagon in 2017. His power is legit, and if it weren’t for the greatest knockout in history a couple of years ago, he’d probably have a title shot by now. It’s really really hard for me to go against Zombie’s momentum right now, but I can’t shake this feeling that two years of change is going to make a world of difference for Ortega. If we see this new and improved version of Brian Ortega after 2 years on the sidelines, my goodness this division needs to watch out. What a scary proposition that would be if he has improved the holes in his game that Holloway exposed. I’m expecting a highly competitive back-and-forth fight of the night and i see Ortega taking this by submission in the 4th round.

Prediction: Brian Ortega

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.