UFC returned with UFC 266 today and in the main event, Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega locked horns with each other with the UFC Featherweight title on the line.
Both the champion and the challenger had their moments in the first round in a high-paced affair. Volkanovski even managed to open up Ortega in the round but it did not seem to slow down the fight. The high-paced action continued in the second round as well. Volkanovski landed some significant strikes midway through the round but Ortega kept moving forward and mounted some offense of his own before the round closed. The fighters even had a heated moment before going to the corners after the round.
Volkanovski was swinging hard in the opening minutes of the third round and was on the front foot early on. A bloodied-up Ortega tried to lock in the guillotine against the flow of the fight but saw Volkanovski turn things around and land on top. The champion went on to land some heavy ground and pound from top but Ortega once again pulled a trick off the hat and went for a triangle in a wild exchange. Volkanovski escaped the submission attempt and closed the round on a strong note by landing some ground and pound. The doctor examined Ortega after the break and decided to let Ortega continue.
The to and fro action continued in the fourth round as Ortega was looking for a submission when Volkanovski had answers to the challenger's attempts. The champion once again landed some heavy shots to a grounded Ortega in the round only to see Ortega survive to the end of the round. With no other option left, Ortega was looking for the finish in the last round but Volkanovski cautiously outclassed his challengers at all the turns. In the end, the fight was ruled in favor of Volkanovski via a unanimous decision.
Volkanovski came into the main event with an impressive winning streak which saw him capture the UFC Featherweight title and at the same time secure wins over names like Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, and Max Holloway. He had not suffered a defeat in MMA since 2013.
Brian Ortega got the better of The Korean Zombie in his fight prior to UFC 266 and had only lost to Max Holloway in his professional MMA career which saw him pick up wins against Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, and Clay Guida among others.
UFC 266 was headlined by the UFC Featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. Valentina Shevchenko went up against Lauren Murphy in the co-main event with the UFC Flyweight title on the line. Valentina produced yet another dominant performance and finished Lauren Murphy in the fourth round to retain the UFC Flyweight Title.
Another major attraction on the card was the showdown between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. It marked the return of Nick Diaz into the octagon after a long gap of seven years. The match ended in a third-round finish in favor of Lawler. Robbie Lawler was able to drop Nick Diaz after which Nick was not able to continue.
In the main card opener, Jessica Andrade secured the first-round finish against Cynthia Calvillo. Curtis Blaydes also picked up a win against Jairzinho Rozenstruik after a three-round matchup.
Dan Hooker, Merab Dvalishvili, Chris Daukaus, and Taila Santos among others also picked up wins on the preliminary fight card for UFC 266.
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