UFC is set to return to PPV on Sept. 25 with a trio of big fights topping the marquee. UFC 266 will go down inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as the culmination of this year's International Fight Week and see featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski put his title on the line against top contender Brian Ortega. The two were coaches on the latest season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and were previously expected to meet in March, but Volkanovski was forced to withdraw from the meeting after contracting COVID-19.
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.
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In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko looks to continue her run as one of the most dominant champions in the UFC when she defends the flyweight championship against Lauren Murphy. Shevchenko's only UFC losses have come against Amanda Nunes and she has five successful title defenses. Murphy will receive her first title shot inside the UFC after going on a five-fight winning streak.
Also of note, Nick Diaz will return to action for the first time since 2015 when he faces fellow fan-favorite Robbie Lawler. Diaz was hit with a heavy suspension for failing a drug test for the presence of marijuana metabolites after his bout with Anderson Silva, but a return to the Octagon has been long-anticipated. Lawler is on a four-fight losing skid but remains a popular attraction. The pair met in 2004, with Diaz scoring a knockout at UFC 47 in a great fight.
Here's a look at the expected fight card for Las Vegas with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
UFC 266 fight card, odds
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) -165 vs. Brian Ortega +140, featherweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1400 vs. Lauren Murphy +800, women's flyweight championship
- Robbie Lawler -110 vs. Nick Diaz -110, welterweights
- Curtis Blaydes -310 vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik +250, heavyweights
- Jessica Andrade -280 vs. Cynthia Calvillo +230, women's flyweights
- Merab Dvalishvili -230 vs. Marlon Moraes +190, bantamweights
- Dan Hooker -175 vs. Nasrat Haqparast +150, lightweights
- Chris Daukaus -180 vs. Shamil Abdurakimov +155, heavyweights
- Manon Fiorot -270 vs. Mayra Bueno Silva +220, women's flyweights
- Talia Santos -370 vs. Roxanne Modafferi +290, women's flyweights
- Jalin Turner -120 vs. Uros Medic +100, lightweights
UFC 266 info
- Date: Sept. 25
- Location: T-Mobile Arena -- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET (Main card) | 8 p.m. ET (prelims)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV | ESPN News (prelims)