There has been plenty of UFC action over the year, and now it’s officially the week of the highly-anticipated UFC 266 event! Here at TSFJ, we’re going to take a closer look at the fights happening this Saturday night.
At the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC will hold it’s latest event in front of a packed-out crowd. The full fight card is full of talent, and those watching both inside the arena and from around the world will see some top UFC action throughout the night.
Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega
Currently ranked the fourth pound-for-pound best men’s fighter in the UFC, Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight title against Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 266. Since joining the promotion in 2016, Volkanovski has worked his way through the fighters in the featherweight division, and is undefeated in the UFC.
After winning the featherweight title in December 2019 – with a unanimous decision victory over Max Holloway – the Australian will defend his belt for only the second time. His first was a rematch against Holloway, and now will be challenged by Ortega.
Meanwhile, Brian Ortega has also had a strong career with the UFC, having only lost once in his time with the promotion. The loss was to Max Holloway in Ortega’s first challenge for the featherweight belt. Now, after a bounce back win against ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung in October 2020, the American will step up for his second challenge of the title.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy
In the co-main event of UFC 266, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will also be putting her UFC title on the line, against Lauren Murphy, who hasn’t lost a bout in her last five fights. Shevchenko has reigned since December 2018. The Ukrainian won her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk on the undercard of Ortega vs Holloway.
Shevchenko has successfully defended her belt five times, with her latest victory inside the octagon in April of this year, beating Jessica Andrade via TKO. Now, the women’s flyweight champion faces another challenge – this time in the form of Lauren Murphy.
American Lauren Murphy is currently ranked the No.3 challenger in the women’s flyweight division, but has certainly earned her shot at Shevchenko and the title. With Murphy’s latest win against Joanne Calderwood back in June, the American has now turned her attention to the champion.
Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler - Rematch
The return of Nick Diaz has been eagerly-awaited by many UFC fans, and this weekend will finally see Diaz step into the octagon once again. The American last stepped into the octagon back in January 2015, where he went toe-to-toe with ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva. The UFC veteran will fight once again in this welterweight bout with Robbie Lawler.
Both of these are veterans in the UFC, having both fought inside the octagon over 40 times each. Lawler has been fighting regularly, however, with his last bout in August of last year – a decision loss to Neil Magny.
All the way back in April 2004, as part of UFC 47: It’s On, Diaz and Lawler clashed for the first time. Diaz came out on top in that one, with a knockout in the second round of the bout. Fast forward to this weekend, Lawler will definitely be looking to get revenge on his opponent. Meanwhile, Nick Diaz will have his first pro fight in six and a half years.
Latest UFC Betting Odds
With the upcoming UFC 266 event on Saturday night, a number of US bookmakers have already started offering UFC betting markets for you to make the most of! To find all of the best US betting sites, check out our bookmaker reviews over at CaptainGambling.com!
At the moment, BetMGM is the leading US online sportsbook, and is offering plenty of betting markets for you to take advantage of for the upcoming UFC. Sign up and place your bets today!
Jordan Noble is a writer that really enjoys discussing anything in and around the world of sports. He’s in his element when talking about sports, and has an ever-growing portfolio of sports news, features and reviews. When he’s not writing, you’ll find Jordan playing football – American football, that is.
He knows Manchester United are the biggest club in the world. He says that it’s just straight up facts. He loves a fight, whether that’s inside an octagon, or between the ropes, he’ll be interested.