(C) ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI vs. (#2) BRIAN ORTEGA
(C) VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO vs. (#3) LAUREN MURPHY
NICK DIAZ vs. ROBBIE LAWLER
Las Vegas – UFC® returns to T-Mobile Arena with a thrilling pair of world championship bouts. The Ultimate Fighter coaches collide when UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski defends his title against No. 2 ranked contender Brian Ortega. The co-main event will see UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko go for her sixth consecutive title defense when she meets No. 3 ranked contender Lauren Murphy. Also in a highly anticipated rematch, Nick Diaz returns against former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in a five-round thriller.
UFC® 266: VOLKANOVSKI vs. ORTEGA will take place Saturday, Sept. 25 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All bouts will be simulcast on ESPN+ in English and Spanish beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with the ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass prelims. The prelims will continue exclusively on ESPNews, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT followed by the ESPN+ Pay-Per-View main card that will kick off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
UFC® 266: VOLKANOVSKI vs. ORTEGA tickets will go on sale Friday, July 30 at 10 a.m. PT and are available for purchase at axs.com. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, July 28 at 10 a.m. PT via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, July 29 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, NSW, Australia) aims to continue his run atop the featherweight division with another dominant performance. The former rugby player turned MMA star holds impressive victories over Max Holloway (twice), Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. Volkanovski now has his sights set on getting the last laugh against Ortega and securing his second successful title defense.
Submission wizard Ortega (15-1 1NC, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) turned heads in his last outing by putting on a striking clinic against Chan Sung Jung in October. A talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, he has also netted spectacular wins over Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Clay Guida. Ortega now aims to settle the score with Volkanovski and achieve his dream of capturing UFC gold.
Shevchenko (21-3, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) has proven herself to be among the most dominant champions in UFC history. A decorated kickboxer, she has delivered memorable victories against Jessica Eye, Holly Holm and Julianna Pena. Shevchenko now looks to continue building her legacy with another show-stealing title defense.
Murphy (15-4, fighting out of Houston, Texas) intends to shock the world by becoming the first fighter to defeat Shevchenko at 125 pounds. During her UFC run, the 11-year MMA veteran has earned notable victories over Joanne Calderwood, Andrea Lee and Mara Romero Borella. Murphy is now gunning to dethrone Shevchenko and become only the third women’s flyweight champion in UFC history.
MMA superstar Diaz (26-9 2NC, fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) returns to the Octagon for the first time in over six years. Throughout his epic career, he has secured sensational wins against former UFC champions BJ Penn, Frank Shamrock and Lawler. Diaz now intends to remind fans he’s still among the best in the world by taking out Lawler a second time.
Lawler (28-15 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) hopes to even the score with Diaz 17 years following their first encounter. The former UFC welterweight champion has delivered thrilling knockouts against Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger and Josh Koscheck, and he now aims to secure a measure of revenge against Diaz and begin climbing the ladder back to the belt.
Additional bouts on the card include: