With a number of marquee fights lined up for both the preliminary and the main card, UFC 266 is set to become one of the most eventful and storied pay-per-views of the year.
Headlined by the featherweight title clash between Alexander 'The Great' Volkanovski and Brian 'T-City' Ortega, UFC 266 will go down on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Adding power and panache to the card will be the second title fight of the night. Valentina Shevchenko will put her 125-pound belt on the line in the co-main event against Lauren Murphy, who believes she will be the toughest challenge yet for the flyweight queen.
In possibly the biggest draw of the night, Nick Diaz will make a return to the octagon after more than six years away. He'll rematch fellow UFC veteran Robbie Lawler. Despite not being a title fight or headliner, the bout will take place over five rounds at middleweight. It was originally set to be at welterweight.
Heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik will lock horns on the main card as well. Both men will hope to make their way into title contention with a victory.
Former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade will open the UFC 266 main card in a flyweight battle against Cynthia Calvillo.
On the preliminary card, Kiwi lightweight Dan Hooker is scheduled to fight German-Afghan Nasrat Haqparast. The bout almost got scrapped due to international visa issues. Both fighters were stuck in their respective countries awaiting for their documents to be processed. They only managed to get on flights to Las Vegas with a couple of days remaining until fight night. Miraculously, though, both men successfully made weight.
An early prelim middleweight fight saw a last-minute change. Promotional newcomer Cody Brundage has stepped in to face Nick Maximov after Karl Roberson pulled out due to complications with his weight cut.
UFC 266: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
Now, fueled by quite the rivalry thanks to The Ultimate Fighter 29, the featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega has been long overdue.
They were initially set to face each other at UFC 260. However, the bout had to be postponed after the featherweight champion tested positive for COVID-19. The fight was further delayed because the two men were selected to be opposition coaches on TUF 29.
Between the two of them, Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega have only one UFC defeat. Ortega suffered a fourth-round doctor's stoppage TKO loss against Max Holloway at UFC 231. After a period away, he made a complete turnaround and came back with a dominant decision win over 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung.
Volkanovski, meanwhile, is yet to taste defeat in the UFC and is currently on a nine-fight winning streak. That includes two title wins over Max Holloway.
Watch Dana White's preview of UFC 266 below:
Check out the latest UFC Match Card here