UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega will stream exclusively on ESPN+ PPV this Saturday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The main card features a thrilling pair of world championship bouts when the coaches of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter — UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 ranked-contender Brian Ortega — collide. The co-main will feature UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko facing No.3 ranked contender Lauren Murphy. The third fight of the main event will feature one of UFC’s most highly anticipated returns when Nick Diaz, one of UFC’s perennial fan favorites, returns to the Octagon in a rematch 17 years in the making, against Robbie Lawler.
UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega will begin with early prelims at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, with prelims at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, and the PPV main card at 10 p.m. ET, exclusively on ESPN+ (English, Spanish). Live coverage begins Friday with UFC Live presented by DraftKings: Volkanovski vs. Ortega on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2. UFC Live provides fans with exclusive insights and views on the biggest stories heading into UFC 266.
On Saturday, ESPN will debut a new live sports betting show that will proceed all PPV events. “The UFC 266 Betting Show,” will be hosted by MMA Insider Brett Okamoto and MMA and sports betting expert Ian Parker. The show streams live on ESPN’s MMA YouTube channel and will provide the latest information fans need to know ahead of the PPV.
Undisputed UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski is unbeaten in almost eight years, including nine straight wins in the UFC. He proved himself as one of UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with two title fight victories over Max Holloway, along with dominant performances against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins.
Ortega is determined to make 2021 the year his UFC title dreams become a reality. He won seven fights in the UFC, with six of them coming by knockout or submission, tied for third most in featherweight division history. In his first championship opportunity, Ortega was on the wrong end of a record-breaking performance by Holloway, but worked his way back to a title shot with a win over Chan Sung Jung last October.
In the co-main, Shevchenko will seek to tie Ronda Rousey for the longest title defense streak in UFC women’s history when she makes the sixth defense of her UFC women’s flyweight championship against the streaking Murphy.
The third bout of the night will see the return of Diaz for the first time in over six years to face Lawler in a rematch of their first fight in April 2004. Diaz has not fought since a no contest against Anderson Silva in January 2015 but has been a fan favorite to mixed martial arts fans over the past 20 years.
Calling the action will be play-by-play announcer Jon Anik, alongside analysts former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier and former UFC lightweight contender Paul Felder. Megan Olivi will handle reporting duties.
UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega Original Content:
- UFC 266 Countdown: Volkanovski vs. Ortega behind-the-scenes look at the training camps for the main and co-main fighters
- UFC 266: Embedded: daily all-access series follows athletes throughout fight week, leading up to UFC’s next pay-per-view event; one new episode each day is available on ESPN+
- Unlocking Victory: UFC 266; available on ESPN+
- Detail: Daniel Cormier breaking down Nick Diaz
- “The Chael Sonnen Show w/Jorge Sedano,” available on demand anytime on ESPN+
- “DC & RC” – UFC legend Daniel Cormier and Super Bowl champion, Ryan Clark, both Louisiana natives, hang out and kick around the hottest topics from across the world of MMA. Available Thursday, Sept 23 on ESPN+ and on ESPN’s YouTube channel and can also be listened to wherever you download your podcasts
- UFC 266 Pre-Show presented by Toyo Tires available Friday on ESPN+
- Hispanic Heritage Month-themed programming include:
- MMA Mexican Style (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – Feature on how Mexican-style boxing has influenced MMA
- Brian Ortega Hits Hollywood (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – Feature on Ortega’s plan behind his incursion in the world of acting.
- Detail (en español): Daniel Cormier breaking down Nick Diaz (ESPN+ MÁS)
- ‘He’ll be Vinnie Chase and I’ll be Drama’: Brian Ortega fights for his family’s dreams
- Ortega’s unique MMA journey: From Hollywood to the Octagon
- UFC 266 Real or Not: Brian Ortega will make this title shot count; Nick Diaz will impress
- UFC 266: A timeline of 17 long, turbulent years since Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 1
- Out Thursday: How to watch and stream, plus expert analysis and predictions
- Out Saturday: Viewer’s Guide
ESPN’s UFC 266 Pick’Em – fans can play for FREE and compete for a chance to win $5,000
Programming (All times ET)
|Fri., 9/24||5:30 p.m.||UFC Live presented by DraftKings: Volkanovski vs. Ortega||ESPN2|
|6:05 p.m.||UFC 266 Pre-Show presented by Toyo Tires: Volkanovski vs. Ortega||ESPN+|
|Sat., 9/25||6 p.m.||UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega (Early Prelims)||ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass|
|8 p.m.||UFC 266 presented by Modelo: Volkanovski vs. Ortega (Prelims)||ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+|
|10 p.m.||UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega (Main Card)||ESPN+ PPV|
|1 a.m.*||UFC 266 Post Show presented by Toyo Tires: Volkanovski vs. Ortega||ESPN+|
* immediately following main card
|10:00 PM||Main||Alexander Volkanovski (C) vs. Brian Ortega||UFC Featherweight Championship|
|Co-Main||Valentina Shevchenko (C) vs. Lauren Murphy||UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship|
|Undercard||Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler|
|Undercard||Curtis Blaydes vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik|
|Undercard||Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo|
|8:00 PM||Feature||Marlon Moraes vs. Merab Dvalishvili|
|Undercard||Dan Hooker vs. Nasrat Haqparast|
|Undercard||Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chris Daukaus|
|Undercard||Roxanne Modafferi vs. Talia Santos|
|6:00 PM||Feature||Uros Medic vs. Jalin Turner|
|Undercard||Cody Brundage vs. Nick Maximov|
|Undercard||Matthew Semelsberger vs. Martin Sano|
|Undercard||Jonathan Pearce vs. Omar Morales|