(Pocket-lint) - Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski faces off against the jiu-jitsu master “T-City” Brian Ortega. Lauren Murphy takes her first crack at the UFC title, but will she be a match for the undefeated champion Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko? And Nick Diaz, one of MMA’s biggest stars, faces off against ‘Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in a much-awaited rematch, but will he emerge victorious again? Only time will tell.
If you’re excited about these fights, you can stream UFC 266 on ESPN+ at 10 p.m EDT (7 p.m. PDT) on 25 September 2021. Below, we walk you through everything you can expect and how to watch UFC 266.
Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski vs. “T-City” Brian Ortega
Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is the current UFC Featherweight champion and #4 pound for pound best UFC fighter. He is 22-1, a dominant champion, while still being at his prime at 32. This will be his 2nd title defence and his 1st PPV main event. While his status as a dominant champion is certainly impressive, his fight statistics are even more so. He is currently on a 19-fight win streak, and 11 of his 22 wins are by knockout.
“T-City” Brian Ortega is 15-1-1, #2 ranked featherweight, a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, and he was titled the 2017 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year. He has won 7 of his last 8 fights so far, and he’s currently coming off strong from a win against Korean Zombie at Fight Night. Impressively, 6 of his 7 wins are by submission or TKO. While he isn’t as seasoned as Volkanovski, his track record makes him more than a worthy adversary.
Volkanovski and Ortega were originally booked to face each other during UFC 260, but that was cancelled because Alex tested positive for COVID. The two were also the head coaches in season 29 of TUF, and that undoubtedly contributed to the current fervour and excitement about this title fight. Volkanovski is a striker, whereas Ortega is a grappler and submission specialist, but Ortego has also improved significantly and won battles against striking specialists.
You’ll have to tune into UFC 266 on ESPN to see who prevails, the champion or the contender.
Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy
Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko is the UFC Women’s Flyweight champion, #2 ranked women’s pound for pound best fighter and the 2020 Female Fighter of the Year. She’s a fan favourite and one of the leading champions in the UFC, having gone undefeated as a flyweight. She’s currently on a 7-fight win streak, and this will be her 6th title defence. Will her win streak continue undisturbed?
Lauren Murphy is the #3 ranked women’s flyweight and a former champion outside of UFC. She has eight knockouts and six decision wins, and she usually comes out aggressive, landing strikes upon strikes from the get-go. She is currently on a 5-win streak, but this is her first crack at the UFC title shot. Will her aggressive fighting style work against Shevchenko’s more measured, even-paced, and studious style?
Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy will be one of the main events during this Saturday’s UFC 266. You can watch it live on ESPN+.
Nick Diaz vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler
Nick Diaz vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler is likely to be one of the most anticipated fights of UFC 266. Diaz is 26-9-2. He’s a former Strikeforce champion, the older brother of Nate Diaz, and 3rd-degree Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. He is returning after last competing at UFC 183 in 2015, and he’s currently one of the most popular fighters in MMA with 21 wins by knockout or submission.
Diaz vs. Lawler is bound to be the most exciting fight of the evening because it’s a rematch from their 2004 bout, where Diaz emerged victorious with a 2nd round KO. The original match occurred in 2004, when Diaz and Lawler were only 20 and 22 years old, respectively. It was a fight between two relative newcomers eager to prove their mettle.
Now that both fighters have embarked on vastly different territories and upscaled their skills, it’s anyone’s guess who will emerge victorious this time around. You can watch them go up against each other during this Saturday’s UFC 266 on ESPN+.
How to watch UFC 266
UFC now has an exclusive partnership with ESPN, which means you can only watch UFC 266 on ESPN+. Existing ESPN Plus subscribers can order UFSC 266 for $70 or upgrade their annual plan to UFC PPV for $85. New subscribers can buy the UFC PPV event or subscribe to an ESPN Plus membership for $90, which will be auto-renewed after a year.