UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on September 25, 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, part of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, United States.
|UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega|
|Promotion||Ultimate Fighting Championship|
|Date||September 25, 2021|
|City||Paradise, Nevada, United States|
After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the promotion announced the return of 'International Fight Week', which took place in Las Vegas during the days leading up to and surrounding the event.
A UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion Jan Błachowicz (also former KSW Light Heavyweight Champion) and former title challenger Glover Teixeira was scheduled take place at the event. However, the bout was postponed in late June and moved to UFC 267.
A UFC Featherweight Championship bout between current champion Alexander Volkanovski and former title challenger Brian Ortega headlined the event. The pairing was previously scheduled to take place at UFC 260, but it was cancelled a week before taking place as Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19. The pairing was then postponed a few months as both fighters were named head coaches for The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega.
A middleweight bout between former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler and former WEC and Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (also former welterweight title challenger) took place at this event, marking the second time a non-main event and non-title bout had been scheduled for five rounds. They previously met 17 years ago at UFC 47, with Diaz winning by knockout. The bout was originally expected to take place at welterweight, but was moved up a weight class days before the event.
A heavyweight bout between Shamil Abdurakhimov and Chris Daukaus took place at the event. The pairing was initially scheduled to meet on July 24, 2021 at UFC on ESPN: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw, but the matchup was removed from that card on July 19 due to COVID-19 protocols within Abdurakhimov's camp. The matchup remained intact and was rescheduled for the following week at UFC on ESPN: Hall vs. Strickland, but it was postponed again due to undisclosed reasons.
A women's flyweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia strawweight winner Tatiana Suarez and former title challenger Roxanne Modafferi was scheduled for the event. However, Suarez pulled out due to a knee injury that would require surgery. She was replaced by Taila Santos. The pairing was previously scheduled for UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson in May, but Modafferi pulled out due to a meniscus tear a month before that event and the bout was scrapped.
A bantamweight bout between Timur Valiev and Ricky Simón was originally linked to this event. However, the bout was never officially announced by the promotion and Valiev was instead scheduled to face Daniel Santos at UFC Fight Night: Ladd vs. Dumont.
A women's flyweight bout between Manon Fiorot and Mayra Bueno Silva was expected to take place at the event. However, the bout was postponed to UFC Fight Night: Ladd vs. Dumont due to COVID-19 protocols.
A middleweight bout between Karl Roberson and Nick Maximov was scheduled for this event. However, Roberson was forced to withdraw from the event due to medical issues and was replaced by promotional newcomer Cody Brundage.
|Featherweight||Alexander Volkanovski (c)||def.||Brian Ortega||Decision (unanimous) (49–46, 50–45, 50–44)||5||5:00||[a]|
|Women’s Flyweight||Valentina Shevchenko (c)||def.||Lauren Murphy||TKO (elbows and punches)||4||4:00||[b]|
|Middleweight||Robbie Lawler||def.||Nick Diaz||TKO (retirement)||3||0:44|
|Heavyweight||Curtis Blaydes||def.||Jairzinho Rozenstruik||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Women’s Flyweight||Jéssica Andrade||def.||Cynthia Calvillo||TKO (punches)||1||4:54|
|Preliminary card (ESPNews / ESPN+)|
|Bantamweight||Merab Dvalishvili||def.||Marlon Moraes||TKO (punches)||2||4:25|
|Lightweight||Dan Hooker||def.||Nasrat Haqparast||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–26)||3||5:00|
|Heavyweight||Chris Daukaus||def.||Shamil Abdurakhimov||TKO (punches and elbows)||2||1:23|
|Women's Flyweight||Taila Santos||def.||Roxanne Modafferi||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)|
|Lightweight||Jalin Turner||def.||Uroš Medić||Submission (rear-naked choke)||1||4:01|
|Middleweight||Nick Maximov||def.||Cody Brundage||Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Welterweight||Matthew Semelsberger||def.||Martin Sano Jr.||KO (punch)||1||0:15|
|Featherweight||Jonathan Pearce||def.||Omar Morales||Submission (rear-naked choke)||2||3:31|
The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.
- Fight of the Night: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
- Performance of the Night: Merab Dvalishvili and Chris Daukaus
- Mike Bohn (2021-09-26). "UFC 266 post-event facts: Nick Diaz stopped for first time in nearly 14 years". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-09-26.
- Farah Hannoun (2021-07-07). "Dana White updates on Khamzat Chimaev, Tony Ferguson, Stipe Miocic, event locations, more". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
- Staff (2021-07-20). "9th annual UFC International Fight Week takes over Las Vegas, September 21-25". ufc.com. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
- Brett Okamoto (2021-04-14). "Jan Blachowicz to defend UFC light heavyweight title vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 266". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
- Adam Martin (2021-06-27). "Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira delayed, now headlines UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi". bjpenn.com. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
- Brett Okamoto (2021-06-13). "Alexander Volkanovski, Valentina Shevchenko set to defend titles at UFC 266". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-06-13.
- Damon Martin (2021-03-20). "Alexander Volkanovski out of UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols, fight against Brian Ortega to be rescheduled". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
- Brett Okamoto (2021-04-02). "Volkanovski, Ortega named coaches for next TUF". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
- Brett Okamoto (2021-07-13). "Nick Diaz joins brother Nate back in UFC, agrees to September bout vs. Robbie Lawler in Las Vegas". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
- Mike Bohn (2021-07-13). "Nick Diaz returns vs. Robbie Lawler in five-round UFC 266 co-headliner". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
- Cole Shelton (2021-09-21). "Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 2 at UFC 266 now a middleweight fight". bjpenn.com. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
- Steven Marrocco (2021-07-26). "Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus scratched from UFC Vegas 33, moved to UFC 266 instead". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
- Damon Martin (2021-07-19). "Chris Daukaus vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov pulled from UFC Vegas 32, fight now expected to take place on July 31". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
- Adam Martin (2021-07-26). "Chris Daukaus vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov scratched from UFC Vegas 33". mymmanews.com. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
- Matthew Wells (2021-06-29). "Tatiana Suarez's long-awaited return targeted for UFC 266 against Roxanne Modafferi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
- Mike Heck (2021-07-27). "Tatiana Suarez out of UFC 266, promotion seeks new opponent for Roxanne Modafferi". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
- Marcel Dorff (2021-08-19). "Multiple updates UFC matches for different events". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2021-08-20. (in Dutch)
- Alexander K. Lee (2021-04-07). "Roxanne Modafferi out of Taila Santos bout on May 8 due to meniscus injury". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
- Marcel Dorff (2021-07-28). "Three new fights and a canceled match for UFC 266 on September 25 in Las Vegas". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2021-09-15. (in Dutch)
- Marcel Dorff (2021-08-26). "Timur Valiev faces Daniel "Willycat" Santos at UFC event on October 16". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2021-09-15. (in Dutch)
- Guilherme Cruz and Alexander K. Lee (2021-06-09). "Manon Fiorot to fight Mayra Bueno Silva at Sept. 25 UFC show". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
- Adam Martin (2021-09-22). "UFC 266 loses fight as Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva scratched due to COVID-19 protocols". mymmanews.com. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
- Marcel Dorff (2021-07-28). "Three new fights and a canceled match for UFC 266 on September 25 in Las Vegas". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2021-07-28. (in Dutch)
- Mike Heck (2021-09-22). "Karl Roberson scratched from UFC 266, Nick Maximov faces Cody Brundage". mymmanews.com. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
- "UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
- Staff (2021-09-26). "UFC 266 bonuses: Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega's classic title fight among winners". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-09-26.