Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega clashed over Featherweight gold tonight (Sat., Sept. 25, 2021) in a main event clash from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC 266. Volkanovski has been perfect inside the Octagon, never tasting defeat en route to his title and first defense. However, the highly competitive nature of his last bout vs. Max Holloway is being held against him, leaving the champion in need of a dominant victory. Meanwhile, Ortega completely reinvented himself and his fight style in his last appearance, renewing confidence that “T-City” was destined for UFC gold. To add an extra layer of intrigue, the two beefed all throughout The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29, mixing in an element of bad blood to the title fight.
Strap in for tonight’s main event and follow along below for live updates and highlight clips:
Volkanovski starts the fight with some early kicks. Stiff jab connects for the champion, followed by a big right hand. Ortega answers with some counters shots, and a low kick of his own. Solid jab from the challenger! Volkanovski is landing to the legs with good consistency. Volkanovski is starting to find his range on the counter with looping shots. Ortega finds a nice counter of his own. Both fighters are bleeding a bit. Stiff cross from Ortega stings the champion, but he’s still a bit behind on the volume game. 10-9 Volkanovski
Volkanovski starts off with an early mix of kicks, and Ortega sticks a jab. Clean low kick from Ortega. Stiff right hand connection from the champion. Volkanovski is starting to back Ortega into the fence more often, and he lands another right. Not long after, Ortega answers with a solid combination of his own. Heavy two-punch combination scores for Volkanovski. Another chopping low kick from Ortega, who is starting to just bite down on his mouthpiece and fire. Ortega pushing forward for the first time, lands a cross. Body shot from the champion. Ortega’s low kicks are landing rather nicely. Volkanovski puts together a four-punch combo, lands the latter two. The two trade to the bell. 10-9 Volkanovski
Early calf kick from Volkanovski knocks his foe out of stance. Major overhand connection from Volkanovski, but Ortega somehow eats it. A clash of heads backs Ortega off, and Volkanovski tries to follow up with punches. Ortega lands a hard pair of counter punches then a jab. Cross-hook for the champion. Volkanovski takes an angle and lands a clean left hook. Ortega is still firing, but Volkanovski is landing cleanly with power punches. Ortega interrupts a Volkanovski low kick with a punch and takes top position! Immediately, Ortega is attacking the guillotine, and he nearly gets it! Ortega slips off the neck attempting a d’arce, and Volkanovski takes top position. From full guard, Volkanovski starts dropping nasty elbows and punches. Brutal ground striking. “T-City” throws up a triangle! It’s tight! Volkanovski gives up top position and survives, quickly scrambling his way back on top. Volkanovski stands over his foe and drops hammers until the bell! ABSOLUTELY INSANE ROUND! 10-8 Volkanovski
Ortega barely made it to his stool, but he seems ready to go once again. Ortega lands an early lead hook. Volkanovski answers with some stiff jabs and low kicks. Big swings from Volkanovski. Hard left hook connects to the jaw of Ortega. Ortega attempts his first takedown of the fight, resulting in a scramble. Ortega jumps on the neck once more, but Volkanovski takes top position. Elbows and hammerfists from the champion. It’s not quite as brutal a flurry as Round Three, but Volkanovski is punishing the challenger. Volkanovski stands over the guard and starts dropping absolute HAMMERS! When the finish fails to materialize, Volkanovski lets his foe back up and sticks a jab before the bell. 10-8 Volkanovski
Volkanovski backs his foe into the fence and sticks a hard jab. The Aussie easily denies a takedown. Hard elbow from Volkanovski, but Ortega just eats it. Solid check hook from the challenger, then a nice combination. The two are standing directly in front of each other, trading hard shots. Ortega has responded well after the last two rounds, pushing forward and firing in combination. Long 1-2 from the challenger — is the champion slowing a bit? Ortega is putting punches together well! Body-head combo from Volkanovski. Stiff jab from “The Great.” Ortega catches a kick, lands a knee. Double jab scores for the champion. Big land for Ortega! He tries to flurry at the bell, but Volkanovski wisely backs away from the exchange. 10-9 Ortega
Result: Alexander Volkanovski defeats Brian Ortega via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44)
For complete UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega” results and play-by-play, click HERE!