Dana White has officially confirmed the big fights that will front the upcoming UFC 266 pay-per-view on September 25th in Las Vegas and it’s an action-packed line-up, with two title fights, plus an additional five-rounder.
Headlining the show will be a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, following their recent stint as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 29.
Volkanovski comes into the fight after registering back-to-back wins over Max Holloway, which extends his unbeaten run in the UFC to nine fights since making his debut in 2016.
Along the way, Volkanovski has also defeated the likes of Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo, while his overall career record stands at an impressive 22-1.
As for Ortega, he came up short in his previous title challenge against the aforementioned Holloway back in 2018, suffering the only loss of his 17-fight career to date, but he rebounded perfectly after an extended hiatus when he racked up a dominant decision win over ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung in October of last year.
Meanwhile, the co-main event sees flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko looking to make the sixth defence of her belt against Lauren Murphy, who has battled her way to a title shot after stringing together five victories in a row, beating the likes of Joanne Calderwood, Andrea Lee and Roxanne Modafferi along the way.
Also bolstering the UFC 266 main card line-up is a five-round rematch some 17-years in the making between the returning Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler.
Diaz makes his comeback some six years after his last Octagon appearance with Anderson Silva, which he initially lost by unanimous decision, before it was later amended to a no-contest when his opponent tested positive for steroids and he flagged for marijuana.
Now he goes back up against Lawler, who he defeated by KO in 2004, with the ‘Ruthless’ one having eventually gone on to become a UFC welterweight champion later in his career, but currently just looking to stop a four-fight losing skid at 170lbs.