A fairly tepid main card to UFC 266 was saved by a barnburner of a main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. The two featherweights put on an incredibly exciting fight, highlighted by a third round, which is likely going to be the round of the year. Check out that and all the rest of the highlights after the jump.
Alexander Volkanovski def. Brian Ortega via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44)
In an incredible performance, Alexander Volkanovski defended his UFC featherweight championship against a very game challenger in Brian Ortega. Volkanovski exhibited difference-making speed, which allowed him to consistently beat Ortega to the punch and cut his opponent to pieces. The third round will be talked about for a while, as Ortega threatened with two very dangerous submission attempts, one a mounted guillotine, the other a triangle choke. However, Volkanovski was able to evade the threat from Ortega and ended the round dealing hellacious damage to the challenger. That third round is an absolute all-timer, and must be seen (It's below in full, watch it).
Brian Ortega's entrance pic.twitter.com/cCckqxbtI9— (@FTBVids_YT) September 26, 2021
HOLY SHIT!!! THAT ROUND WAS PURE CHAOS!!!!! I LOVE THIS SPORT!!! pic.twitter.com/T7TXOCMXNv— (@FTBVids_YT) September 26, 2021
Valentina Shevchenko def. Lauren Murphy via TKO (Ground and Pound) (Rd. 4 4:00)
In a complete outclassing, Valentina Shevchenko dismantled Lauren Murphy and found the finish late in the fourth round. Murphy offered absolutely not threat, and was utterly dominated in every aspect of the fight. There's not much more to say that hasn't already been said about Shevchenko. Rinse-Repeat, more of the same from one of the greatest fighters of all-time.
Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 3 0:44)
In a throwback to 2007, Robbie Lawler and Nick Diaz engaged in a very entertaining stand up battle that wasn't at all the bummer many feared it could be. Diaz came out of the corner throwing a spinning back kick, and proceeded to spend most of the rest of the fight up against the fence engaged in a pocket boxing match against the equally game Lawler. Each threw heavy volume, but Lawler consistently was scoring with the heavier blows. At the beginning of the 3rd round, Lawler caught Diaz coming in with a great check hook that sat him down, and when Diaz couldn't answer the referee's call the fight was stopped.
Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
In a boring grinding heavyweight bout, Curtis Blaydes used his wrestling to get the decision over Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The most notable moment of the fight was a huge jump knee from Rozenstruik, which caused massive swelling on the eye of Blaydes. The swollen eye explains Blaydes safe approach to the last half of the fight, and Rozenstruik's gas tank appeared very empty, so there's reason why it was as boring as it was. Easily skippable fight.
The --------------- -------------- of the week is up next --— UFC (@ufc) September 26, 2021
---- @RazorBlaydes265 vs ---- @JairRozenstruik
[ #UFC266 TUNE IN NOW Live on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/2qE0lEEWLu ] pic.twitter.com/4eNYTLCahx
Curtis Blaydes' eye pic.twitter.com/9k0CgXNNJN— (@FTBVids_YT) September 26, 2021
Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 1 4:55)
The most reliable knockout artist in the female divisions did it again, as Jessica Andrade poured on the damage and got the finish against Cynthia Calvillo with just five seconds remaining in the first round. Calvillo really offered very little threat, and seemed willing to back up and try her best to avoid Andrade's biggest shots, which was never a strategy that was going to be effective. With this fight, Andrade became the first woman to reach 20 UFC fights, and called out the winner of Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas, who rematch for the straweight title in November.
Top flyweight contenders battle it out to open up the #UFC266 main card!— UFC (@ufc) September 26, 2021
---- @JessicaMMApro vs ---- @Cyn_Calvillo
[ #UFC266 We’re Live on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/2qE0lEWxD2 ] pic.twitter.com/1UxNvzMwWl