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UFC 266 Preview

UFC 266 main event volkanovski vs ortega
2021 Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

It is a very exciting time in the MMA world. UFC 266 is this weekend and it is the first of three absolutely loaded PPVs between now and November. The headliner is a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. For the co-headliner, flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko defends her title against challenger Lauren Murphy. And what has fans the most is excited it seems is the return of Nick Diaz. Stockon’s finest returns to face Robbie Lawler in a rematch 17 years in the making. This card is stacked from top to bottom. The prelims feature big names like Marlon Moraes and Dan Hooker, while also featuring some up and coming names, such as Taila Santos. This card should be a lot of fun and will have the eyes of MMA world watching.

Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler

Many were unsure that this day would come. The day that Nick Diaz will finally step back in the octagon. After his 5 year marijuana suspension in 2015, there was doubt that Diaz would never fight again. The decision to suspend Diaz received a lot of backlash. While marijuana was a banned substance at the time, the punishment didn’t seem to fit the crime. On top of that, Dana White had said for some time that he didn’t believe Nick Diaz would fight again. Thankfully though, here we are. Just a few short days away. Last minute change to this however. The fight will be at 185 after originally being booked at 170. Dana White said the Nick Diaz camp requested this change. Robbie Lawler’s team still has to approve the change, but there is little doubt that they won’t approve.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Lauren Murphy

It is definitely safe to say that Valentina Shevchenko is the best ever at 125. She really has never been in a close fight at that weight. Jessica Andrade fell victim most recently. Shevchenko won with ease in a fight that many thought was going to be her toughest yet. However, it was a quick second round finish for Shevchenko. So now next in line, Lauren Murphy. Murphy comes into this fight following a five fight win streak dating back to August of 2019. Three of those wins via decision, one via TKO, and one via Submission. Lauren Murphy has certainly been impressive on this streak. However, this will be the biggest step up in competition in her career. She is new to the moment. Valentina has been in the moment for quite some time now.

Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega

The friendly rivalry that has now become a bit sour will be settled in the main event of UFC 266. Champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovksi takes on Brian “T-City” Ortega. This fight comes following this season of the Ultimate Fighter in which they were coaches. During the beginning of the season, there was a lot of friendly banter between the two. However, as the season went on, it became more heated. Bringing us to now, where the dislike has become very real. Volkanovkski is coming off of two razor thin decision wins against Max Holloway. While Ortega is looking to follow his most impressive performance yet against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. This fight really could go either way, which always makes for the most exciting fights.

Although the UFC 266 fight card is loaded, it is only the start. UFC 267 will take place on October 30th, another stacked card. There are two title fights on this card. The co-main event is a bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan. Sterling won the belt by DQ in the first matchup due to receiving an illegal knee while grounded. The headliner will be a Light Heavyweight championship fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. And to top it all off, it will be free on ABC. However that is not all. The following weekend is UFC 268. The headliner for that card will be a welterweight title rematch between Kamara Usman and Colby Covington. Michael Chandler vs Justin Gaethje is also on that card. Never a better time to be a fight fan at the moment.

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