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UFC 266 fight card primer: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega

Get up to date on the main event of UFC 266 between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. 

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The main event of UFC 266 will feature a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) and Brian Ortega (15-1-1 NC MMA, 7-1-1 NC UFC). UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega airs live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, September 25th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Volkanovski: 32 years old | 5’6” | 71” reach

Ortega: 30 years old | 5’9” | 69” reach

What have these two done recently?

Volkanovski: W - Max Holloway (DEC) | W - Max Holloway (DEC) | W - José Aldo (DEC)

Ortega: W - Chan Sung Jung (DEC) | L - Max Holloway (TKO) | W - Frankie Edgar (KO)

How did these two get here?

Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega were initially scheduled to fight at UFC 260 this past March, but the featherweight champion tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from the event a week before it took place. The fight was postponed and both men were announced as coaches for The Return of the Ultimate Fighter, which meant Volkanovski and Ortega would not share the Octagon until September. A season of filming in close proximity has only strengthened their immense dislike of one another, so the fight feels bigger than when it was first booked.

Volkanovski returns from one of the longest periods of inactivity in his professional career and looks to successfully defend his title again. The championship run of ‘The Great’ has revolved around one man thus far — hi, Max Holloway — and he can now move forward following those back-to-back decision wins with a new challenge in Ortega.

Ortega rebounded from a demoralizing loss to the aforementioned Holloway with a stunning unanimous decision win over Chan Sung Jung nearly a year ago. The new, improved ’T-City’ was a sight to behold as he proved that he was more than a dangerous submission specialist with an affinity for guillotine and triangle chokes. Ortega earned another championship opportunity with his performance against Jung, so the second time could be the charm for the Gracie fighter.

Why should you care?

A fight with high stakes and bad blood is always must-see and Volkanovski vs. Ortega is no different.