UFC takes over Las Vegas tonight with UFC 266. The card for the MMA event will feature two championship bouts as well as the return of an MMA legend. The main card of UFC 266 will start at 10 p.m ET and will air on ESPN+ pay-per-view. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The main event will be the Featherweight Championship match between Alexander Volkanovski (champion) and Brian Ortega. Volkanovski won the featherweight title at UFC 245 in 2019 and has only lost one match in his MMA career. This will be Volkanovski's second title defense with his first being at UFC 251 in July 2020. Ortega is a former featherweight champion who lost the title to Max Holloway at UFC 231. And like Volkanovski, Ortega has only lost one match in his career.
"To be honest, (he's) obviously unprofessional," Volkanovski said in response to a question about what he learned about Ortega during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 29, per MMA Junkie. "I've said it all week. Unprofessional and weakness, you know what I mean? What upsets me the most is (he's) unprofessional. I put the hard yards in my whole life, especially in this career. That's how I got this belt."
Nick Diaz returns to MMA action after a six-year hiatus. He has competed in Strikeforce and Elite XC along with his time in UFC. Diaz's last match was in January 2015 when he and Anderson Silva went to a no contest. Some of his more notable MMA wins are against Frank Shamrock and BJ Penn. Diaz will face Robbie Lawler who has lost his last four UFC matches.
"I always fought, I had three to five fights a year for like 17 years or so," Diaz said in his press conference via MMA Mania. "All I ever thought about was weight, what am I going to eat After a while, you realize there's more to life. After a while, you realize there's more to life and everybody digs their heels into you while you're down. It's kind of rough."
The rest of the card includes Women's Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko defending her title against Lauren Murphy. In another women's flyweight division fight, Jessica Andrade will square off against Cynthia Calvillo. And in a heavyweight bout, Curtis Blaydes will take on Jairzinho Rozenstruik.