Venue: T-Mobile Arena, City: Paradise, Nevada, United States, Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021
UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on September 25, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, part of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, United States.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic, the promotion announced the return of 'International Fight Week', scheduled to take place in Las Vegas during the days leading up to, and surrounding the event.
Volkanovski won the featherweight title from Max Holloway in December 2019 and successfully defended it when he took a controversial split decision in the rematch. He is currently riding a 19-fight winning streak. Ortega was sidelined after losing a title match against Holloway in December 2018 but returned this past October to pick up an impressive win over Chan Sung Jung, punching his ticket to a title shot.
A UFC Featherweight Championship bout between current champion Alexander Volkanovski and former title challenger Brian Ortega is expected to headline the event. The pairing was previously scheduled to take place at UFC 260, but it was cancelled a week before taking place as Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19. The pairing was then postponed a few months as both fighters were named head coaches for The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega.
A UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion Jan Błachowicz (also former KSW Light Heavyweight Champion) and former title challenger Glover Teixeira was scheduled take place at the event. However, the bout was postponed in late June and moved to UFC 267.
A UFC Women's Flyweight Championship bout between current champion Valentina Shevchenko and former Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Lauren Murphy is expected to serve as the co-headliner.
A welterweight bout between former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler and former WEC and Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (also former welterweight title challenger) is expected to take place at this event, marking the second time a non-main event and non-title bout has been scheduled for five rounds. They met previously 17 years ago at UFC 47, with Diaz winning by knockout.
A heavyweight bout between Shamil Abdurakhimov and Chris Daukaus is expected to take place at the event. The pairing was initially scheduled to meet on July 24, 2021 at UFC on ESPN: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw, but the matchup was removed from that card on July 19 due to COVID-19 protocols within Abdurakhimov's camp. The matchup remained intact and was rescheduled for the following week at UFC on ESPN: Hall vs. Strickland, but it was postponed again due to undisclosed reasons.
A women's flyweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia strawweight winner Tatiana Suarez and former title challenger Roxanne Modafferi was scheduled for the event. However, Suarez pulled out due to a knee injury that will require surgery. A replacement is currently being sought by UFC officials.
Official Fight Card
|Featherweight||Alexander Volkanovski (c)||def.||Brian Ortega||Decision (unanimous) (49–46, 50–45, 50–44)||5||5:00|
|Women’s Flyweight||Valentina Shevchenko (c)||def.||Lauren Murphy||TKO (elbows and punches)||4||4:00|
|Middleweight||Robbie Lawler||def.||Nick Diaz||TKO (retirement)||3||0:44|
|Heavyweight||Curtis Blaydes||def.||Jairzinho Rozenstruik||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Women’s Flyweight||Jéssica Andrade||def.||Cynthia Calvillo||TKO (punches)||1||4:54|
|Preliminary card (ESPNews / ESPN+)|
|Bantamweight||Merab Dvalishvili||def.||Marlon Moraes||TKO (punches)||2||4:25|
|Lightweight||Dan Hooker||def.||Nasrat Haqparast||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–26)||3||5:00|
|Heavyweight||Chris Daukaus||def.||Shamil Abdurakhimov||TKO (punches and elbows)||2||1:23|
|Women's Flyweight||Taila Santos||def.||Roxanne Modafferi||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)|
|Lightweight||Jalin Turner||def.||Uroš Medić||Submission (rear-naked choke)||1||4:01|
|Middleweight||Nick Maximov||def.||Cody Brundage||Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Welterweight||Matthew Semelsberger||def.||Martin Sano Jr.||KO (punch)||1||0:15|
|Featherweight||Jonathan Pearce||def.||Omar Morales||Submission (rear-naked choke)||2||3:31|
UFC 266 RESULTS
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Brian Ortega via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44)
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) def. Lauren Murphy via fourth-round TKO (punches)
- Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz via third-round TKO (punches)
- Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo via first-round TKO (punches)
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Marlon Moraes via second-round TKO (punches)
- Dan Hooker def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Chris Daukaus def. Shamil Abdurakimov via second-round TKO (punches)
- Talia Santos def. Roxanne Modafferii via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jalin Turner def. Uros Medic via first-round submission (rear naked choke)
- Nick Maximov def. Cody Brundage via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Matthew Semelsberger def. Martin Sano via first-round knockout (punch)
- Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales via second-round submission (rear naked choke)
*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.