UFC 266 is a stacked fight card from top to bottom with a litany of prospects, challengers, and titlists littering the bout sheet. I don’t recommend missing a second of the action, so get started with the early preliminary card, which start at 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass. The preliminary card is next up at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS. The big show gets started at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
Alexander Volkanovski has been on a tear through the featherweight division in recent years, notching wins over legends such as Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. Not only has he been winning, he’s been looking good doing so; mixing wrestling and tight boxing flawlessly, all backed by strong conditioning. Brian Ortega is no stranger to adversity though, and battled back from the first loss of his career when he outclassed Chan Sung Jung in an impressive performance.
Valentina Shevchenko has been seeking threatening challengers for a while, and Lauren Murphy thinks she has her number. Despite five straight flyweight title defenses, Shevchenko is awaiting someone who can stifle her sharp, well-schooled striking and clinch proficiency. Murphy, a wrestler, will be looking to make all of those characters non-factors on Saturday night if she has her way by grinding Shevchenko to the mat time and time again.
It is a loaded card, but there is no mention of UFC 266 without mentioning the grudge match seven years in the making as Nick Diaz battles Robbie Lawler in the UFC once again. In what may be a crossroads fight for the men, the winner will see a potential second life in their career while the loser fades into obscurity. Also of note is the exciting contest between Marlon Moraes and Merab Dvalishvili. Two extraordinary strikers with a willingness to brawl? That spells action all over again.
UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega main card, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+
- Main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega, for Volkanovski’s featherweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy, for Shevchenko’s flyweight championship
- Nick Diaz vs. #15 Robbie Lawler, welterweight
- #4 Curtis Blaydes vs. #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik, heavyweight
- #1 Jessica Andrade vs. #5 Cynthia Calvillo, flyweight
Preliminary card, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS
- #6 Marlon Moraes vs. #11 Merab Dvalishvili, bantamweight
- #8 Dan Hooker vs. Nasrat Haqparast, lightweight
- #7 Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. #10 Chris Daukaus, heavyweight
- #9 Roxanne Modafferi vs. #12 Taila Santos, women’s flyweight
Early preliminary card, 6 p.m. ET UFC Fight Pass
- Uros Medic vs. Jalin Turner, lightweight
- Cody Brundage vs. Nick Maximov, middleweight
- Matthew Semelsberger vs. Martin Sano, welterweight
- Jonathan Pearce vs. Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer, featherweight