The top of the UFC 266 fight card is loaded, with two title fights and the return of one of the sport's most popular fighters for a rematch 17 years in the making. The event is headlined by a clash of coaches from the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter", as Alexander Volkanovski defends the featherweight championship against Brian Ortega.
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.
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.
UFC 266 fight card, odds
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Brian Ortega, featherweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Lauren Murphy, women's flyweight championship
- Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler, welterweight
- Marlon Moraes vs. Merab Dvalishvili, bantamweight
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, heavyweight
- Erin Blanchfield vs. Sarah Alpar, women's flyweight
- Jalin Turner vs. Uros Medic, lightweight
- Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo, women's flyweight
- Tatiana Suarez vs. Roxanne Modafferi, women's flyweight
UFC 266 info
- Date: Sept. 25
- Location: T-Mobile Arena -- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV