Alex Volkanovski will defend his UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega at UFC 266.
UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko will also make a title defense against no. 3 Lauren Murphy.
A five-round non-title bout and rematch between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler is also booked for this event.
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be a slight betting favorite when he makes his second title defense against no. 2 contender Brian Ortega at the main event of UFC 266 on September 25th at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
According to the BetOnline App, Volkanovski is a slight -180 odds on favorite to beat Ortega who is currently listed at +160 at the same online sportsbook.
The bout was announced by UFC President Dana White in an interview with ESPN:
Two title fights set for UFC 266, per Dana White (@danawhite). Alexander Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) vs. Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) and Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) vs. Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA). Plus, of course, Diaz/Lawler 2. https://t.co/4Ac6a9YMtw
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 14, 2021
Volkanovski and Ortega recently coached against each other at The Ultimate Fighter Season 29.
Two Title Fights
Two title fights – Volkanovski vs. Ortega and Shevchenko vs. Murphy – will top UFC 266 on Sept. 25, Dana White told @bokamotoESPN 🔥 pic.twitter.com/sBuDgOclQl
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 14, 2021
The clash between Volkanovski and Ortega isn’t just the only title fight scheduled for UFC 266. UFC women’s flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko will also defend her belt against Lauren Murphy on the event.
The bout marks Shevchenko’s sixth defense of the belt she won against Joana Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231. Bullet has won three out of he five title defenses via knockout including a second round stoppage of former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade last April at UFC 261.
Murphy is the no. 3 ranked female flyweight in the UFC. The 37-year old is 7-2 in her last nine Octagon assignments. She has won her last five bouts, including a narrow split decision win over Joanne Calderwood at UFC 263 just last month. Murphy has opened as a massive -720 betting underdog at FanDuel.
Nick Diaz. Robbie Lawler. Confirmed. 😳
Sept 25th #UFC266 pic.twitter.com/n64QzELxtD
— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) July 13, 2021
Aside from its two title fights, UFC 266 will also feature a high-profile welterweight battle between former Strikeforce and WEC welterweight champion Nick Diaz and former UFC welterweight champion Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler. The fight was first revealed last week after the fighters verbally agreed to the details of the fight. On Tuesday, the UFC confirmed the bout after Diaz signed the contract.
By the time Diaz and Lawler step inside the Octagon at UFC 266, it will be more than 17 years since their first fight at UFC 47 which Diaz won via second round knockout. MMA fans in general have long clamored for the two former world champions to meet again. Now it’s finally happening, although on
Diaz has not fought since a no-contest against Anderson Silva in January 2015 and he is winles in his last three fights. Lawler meanwhile has dropped five out of his last six bouts, including his last five assignments. Ruthless won UFC welterweight championship by defeating Johnny Hendricks at UFC 181. He successfully defended the belt twice before yielding it to Woodley.