UFC 266 LIVE: Volkanovski vs Ortega latest updates and result tonight

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Volkanovski and Ortega stare each other down (Getty Images)
Volkanovski and Ortega stare each other down (Getty Images)

Alexander Volkanovski retained his featherweight title against Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 266 on Satuurday Night, as the pair produced arguably the greatest championship bout in the history of the division.

After 25 engrossing minutes of mixed martial arts, Australian Volkanovski (23-1) defeated American Ortega (15-2, 1 no contest) via unanimous decision, with the judges in Las Vegas revealing 49-46, 40-45 and 45-44 scorecards in the champion’s favour.

Over the course of five rounds, Volkanovski got the better of his challenger in the majority of the striking exchanges, but the champion was forced to escape four submission attempts that all seemed certain to spell the end of the 32-year-old’s title reign. Three of those holds were applied in a stunning third round. Ultimately, Volkanovski fought free and re-established his superiority to win over the judges and keep his belt.

In the co-main event of UFC 266, Valentina Shevchenko (22-3) made a sixth successful defence of her flyweight title by stopping Lauren Murphy (15-5) with ground and pound in the fourth round. Prior to that, MMA icon Nick Diaz – older brother of Nate – had made his return to the sport after six years away. seventeen years after his welterweight bout against Robbie Lawler, Diaz took on his fellow Californian in a middleweight rematch. Lawler, 39, the fight via third-round TKO, with the 38-year-old Diaz deciding against continuing after he was floored by a right hook.

Re-live updates from UFC 266 below.

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UFC 266

  • Alex Volkanovski (C) def. Brian Ortega via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44)

  • Valentina Shevchenko (C) def. Lauren Murphy via fourth-round TKO (ground and pound, 4:00)

  • Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz via third-round TKO (punch, 0:44)

  • Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo via first-round TKO (strikes, 4:54)

  • Merab Dvalishvili def. Marlon Moraes via second-round TKO (ground strikes, 4:25)

  • Dan Hooker def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

UUFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II report

08:01 , Alex Pattle

Nick Diaz’s UFC 266 return ends in third-round defeat by Robbie Lawler

UFC 266: Main event report

07:28 , Alex Pattle

Alexander Volkanovski survives submission scares to beat Brian Ortega and keep title

UFC 266: Volkanovski def. Ortega

06:26 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Volkanovski def. Ortega

06:25 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Volkanovski def. Ortega

06:25 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Volkanovski def. Ortega

06:11 , Alex Pattle

And still!

Alexander Volkanovski def. Brian Ortega via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44).

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

06:09 , Alex Pattle

A back-and-forth final round, with Ortega landing a significant number of straight shots on a pressuring Volkanovski!

The champion is risking the win and his belt here...

Ortega with his best flurry in the final 20 seconds, but Volkanovski makes it to the buzzer!

We’ll go to the judges’ scorecards.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

06:05 , Alex Pattle

Final round!

Volkanovski blocks a couple of head kicks and lands some clean punches.

Per his corner’s instruction, Ortega shoots for a takedown, but it’s defended successfully.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

06:00 , Alex Pattle

Ortega is checked by a medic... and just about passes the examination.

He and Volkanovski trade punches, before Ortega secures a body lock and trip against the fence! He goes for another guillotine!

But Volkanovski keeps calm and gives referee Herb Dean a thumbs-up, before escaping the hold again!

He’s on top and raining down strikes!

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:56 , Alex Pattle

An accidental clash of heads has busted up Ortega’s nose. His face is a mess now...

Volkanovski with no sympathy. The Australian lands a beautiful right-left hook combo!

But, almost out of nowhere, Ortega snatches a guillotine! It’s in so tight!

The champ is going to tap, surely... NO! He somehow slips out!

Ortega now goes for a D’Arce choke! Again, it looks to be in, but SOMEHOW Volkanovski stays calm and escapes...

He pours on ground and pound but gets over-eager and is caught in a triangle choke, Ortega’s signature submission!

This one also seems to spell the end but AGAIN Volkanovski escapes! What!

He ends the round by battering Ortega from above! WHAT A ROUND!

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:50 , Alex Pattle

Ortega’s corner with an honest appraisal, telling their fighter that he’s falling behind on points here.

The crowd roars as the third round begins.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:49 , Alex Pattle

Volkanovski rolls under a punch and gets a body lock, but only for a second.

The champion’s head is bloodied now – it seems a cauliflower ear might have popped...

Volkanovski with some fine combos to end the second round, before these rivals stare each other down at the buzzer. Wow.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:47 , Alex Pattle

Big elbow by Volkanovski – Ortega’s face is very much reddened now!

The champion is still utilising his leg kicks well, too.

Ortega with a couple more clean right hands, though.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:45 , Alex Pattle

The crowds greet the start of the second round with respectful applause.

Soon there are whistles, however, as both men remain patient.

Heavy leg kick by Ortega. Clean body kick from Volkanovski.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:42 , Alex Pattle

Ortega staying patient. Intelligent pressure by Volkanovski.

Ortega catches a kick but can’t do anything with it – the same thing happens again soon after.

A couple of nice punches land for Ortega as the first round comes to an end.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:40 , Alex Pattle

A couple of stiff right hands land for Volkanovski, who then peppers Ortega with more low kicks.

The champion is taking a strategic approach as ever. Each man has a small cut around one of their eyes.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:38 , Alex Pattle

A lot of feints early on. Volkanovski misses with a head kick attempt but lands low.

“Ortega” chants in Vegas.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:36 , Alex Pattle

This is Ortega’s second title shot, following his fourth-round stoppage defeat by then-champion Max Holloway in December 2018.

One year later, Volkanovski outpointed Holloway to claim the gold, before achieving another (controversial) decision win against the Hawaiian last summer.

Now, Volkanovski and Ortega square off.

And here... we... go!

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:34 , Alex Pattle

Bruce Buffer makes the introductions. Herb Dean will officiate this one.

We’re moments away.

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega

05:23 , Alex Pattle

It’s time for the main event.

Alexander Volkanovski makes the second defence of his featherweight belt, taking on Brian Ortega after the pair’s slow-burn rivalry heated up significantly at this week’s pre-fight press conference.

Volkanovski called his challenger a “drugs cheat”, referencing a failed drugs test by Ortega after the American’s UFC debut.

Australian Volkanovski (22-1) and Ortega (15-1) were opposing coaches on the most recent season of the Ultimate Fighter TV show, and their respective styles should make for an intriguing match-up.

Volkanovski is a well-rounded athlete with an answer for most foes, while Ortega is a jiu-jitsu specialist who has significantly enhanced his striking skills in recent years.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:17 , Alex Pattle

Valentina Shevchenko def. Lauren Murphy via fourth-round TKO (ground and pound, 4:00)

UFC 266: Shevchenko def. Murphy

05:15 , Alex Pattle

It’s all over! Shevchenko finishes Murphy in the fourth round with elbows from above!

That’s a sixth successful defence of her flyweight title for ‘Bullet’.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:14 , Alex Pattle

A right hook stuns Murphy! She then leans down into a left high kick!

Shevchenko pours on punches as Murphy retreats to the fence, where the champion takes her down!

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:12 , Alex Pattle

Round 4. Shevchenko slips and the crowd gasps, momentarily wondering whether the champion had been dropped!

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:11 , Alex Pattle

Shevchenko barely misses with a high kick.

She’s comfortable here, and some boos ring out in the T-Mobile Arena due to a slight lull in activity.

The champion is using sensible pressure, though, while Murphy is tentative as her entries are seeing her get caught with sharp counters.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:04 , Alex Pattle

“You’ve taken her best and you’re doing just fine. We’re gonna catch this girl,” is the message from Murphy’s team.

Anyone agree?

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:03 , Alex Pattle

Shevchenko is in half-guard and lands some harsh elbow to end the second round.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

05:01 , Alex Pattle

Shevchenko looks for a trip, but Murphy counters, reversing the position and pushing the champion to the fence.

She can’t keep her there for long, though. Out in the open, Shevchenko flicks out a venomous teep kick to the body, then counters a Superman punch attempt with a right hook.

Before long, she has another body lock and once again takes down Murphy easily.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:58 , Alex Pattle

Shevchenko uses a combination of punches to get close to Murphy, before grabbing a body lock and dragging her challenger to the canvas with ease.

The champion ends the first round on top, in control.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:56 , Alex Pattle

Murphy looks a little erratic as she anticipates Shevchenko’s strikes.

The champion, in contrast, looks relaxed and confident. She lands a spinning back kick to the body.

Murphy’s left eye is starting to swell and a fierce left hook by ‘Bullet’ won’t help matters.

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:54 , Alex Pattle

Murphy catches a kick and momentarily thinks about a takedown, but she’s put off by a series of strikes from Shevchenko, who fires off the combination while on one leg...

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:52 , Alex Pattle

Here, we, go!

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:49 , Alex Pattle

Shevchenko is still seeking her first real challenge as champion.

Can American Murphy give the title-holder the test she desires?

UFC 266: Shevchenko vs Murphy

04:42 , Alex Pattle

Next up, it’s the co-main event!

Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight gold on the line against Lauren Murphy.

UFC 266: Lawler def. Diaz

04:42 , Alex Pattle

Diaz looked sharper than some of us thought he would, but there’s no doubting that he seemed off in certain moments – not least the finish.

Lawler, meanwhile, ends a four-fight losing streak by avenging his 2004 defeat by Diaz.

UFC 266: Lawler def. Diaz

04:39 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Lawler def. Diaz

04:38 , Alex Pattle

“I knew I was leaking here,” Diaz says, pointing to his bleeding nose, “so I didn’t want to make too much of a mess.”

You can’t help but feel he’s speaking about something bigger than just a bloody nose...

UFC 266: Lawler def. Diaz

04:35 , Alex Pattle

It’s all over!

Diaz hits the deck slowly after a clean right hook by Lawler, and it’s unclear for a moment whether Lawler will let his opponent back to his feet...

But there’s no option to! Referee Jason Herzog waves it off after Diaz tells him he doesn’t want to continue!

Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz via third-round TKO (punch, 0:44).

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:31 , Alex Pattle

Lots of sneaky hooks and uppercuts landed for Lawler in the second round, getting around Diaz’s guard.

Third round begins.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:29 , Alex Pattle

It’s one-way traffic in favour of Lawler at the moment. Diaz, remarkably at 38, seems as durable as ever so far.

Both men have landed more than 100 significant strikes each already! No problem with pace.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:26 , Alex Pattle

“You’re killing this guy,” Diaz’s corner tells him.

Lawler appears to hurt him with a digging left hook into the body early in the second round, though.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:24 , Alex Pattle

“Diaz” chants to more good body work from the returning icon.

What an ending to the round, too! The old rivals trade combinations against the fence. Lots of good counters from Diaz.

One round down, four to go...

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:22 , Alex Pattle

The pair trade fierce body hooks in close.

Diaz is loosening up and, dare I say it, starting to look pretty sharp...

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:19 , Alex Pattle

Finally Diaz returns fire. He looks slow and troubled by Lawler’s strikes, but he’s hanging in there.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:19 , Alex Pattle

Diaz opens up with a very slow spinning back kick, and immediately he is swarmed by Lawler.

Lawler with heavy body shots against the fence. Diaz is shelling up.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:16 , Alex Pattle

This fight was changed from a welterweight bout to a middleweight contest this week, per a request from Diaz’s team.

It is only the second bout in UFC history to be scheduled for five rounds despite not being a title fight or main event.

The other also took place this year, and featured Nick’s brother Nate.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:15 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:14 , Alex Pattle

A thunderous ovation for Nick Diaz in the T-Mobile Arena as he makes his way to the Octagon for the first time since January 2015.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:11 , Alex Pattle

Lawler is out first.

Since he last fought Diaz, Lawler has competed 34 times.

UFC 266: Diaz vs Lawler II

04:05 , Alex Pattle

It’s time. After six years out, Nick Diaz makes his return to MMA. He takes on former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in a rematch at middleweight, 17 years after knocking out ‘Ruthless’ in their first meeting.

Here’s why we should be wary about Diaz’s return, though:

Why we should be worried about Nick Diaz’s UFC return

UFC 266: Blaydes def. Rozenstruik

04:02 , Alex Pattle

Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC 266: Blaydes vs Rozenstruik

04:00 , Alex Pattle

More boos as both heavyweights take a cautious approach.

Eventually they begin to let their hands go, before Blaydes drives at Rozenstruik for a takedown.

He gets it but almost overshoots, and Rozenstruik rolls with it to kick Blaydes off him.

Blaydes, however, acts quickly and jumps straight into Rozenstruik’s guard.

He stands after a while, but not for long enough for Rozenstruik to get up.

Blaydes will end this fight on top and win a decision.

UFC 266: Blaydes vs Rozenstruik

03:55 , Alex Pattle

Second round.

Each man is wary of the other’s strengths, and so they’re a bit tentative here – to the dismay of a now booing crowd.

Nothing tentative about a flying knee attempt from Rozenstruik, though! He tries it as Blaydes shoots for a takedown.

It doesn’t quite land flush, however, and Blaydes goes for another takedown. This one is successful.

Blaydes ends the round on top, with heavy boos raining down at the T-Mobile Arena.

The flying knee connected just about enough to cause some significant swelling around Blaydes’ right eye.

UFC 266: Blaydes vs Rozenstruik

03:46 , Alex Pattle

The key here for Blaydes will be his wrestling. For Rozenstruik: punching power.

Blaydes is light on his feet, hopping in and out of range... He manages to get past Rozenstruik’s attempted counter left hook and clinch his opponent.

Blaydes forces Rozenstruik back to the fence and immediately trips him! Slick.

Terrific effort by ‘Bigi Boy’ to get back to his feet and make space, though.

UFC 266: Blaydes vs Rozenstruik

03:33 , Alex Pattle

Curtis Blaydes faces Jairzinho Rozenstruik next in a clash of heavyweight contenders!

UFC 266: Andrade def. Calvillo

03:32 , Alex Pattle

Happy birthday Jessica Andrade! That’s two fighters tonight who have won on their birthday.

UFC 266: Andrade def. Calvillo

03:28 , Alex Pattle

Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo via first-round TKO (strikes, 4:54)

UFC 266: Andrade vs Calvillo

03:27 , Alex Pattle

Fight under way. Andrade officially becomes the first woman to have competed in 20 UFC bouts.

The former strawweight champion is just stalking Calvillo along the fence. She lands heavy hooks with each hand.

Calvillo is firing back with sharp jabs, but they obviously don’t carry the power of Andrade’s shots...

Huge uppercut from Andrade late in this first round, and the Brazilian starts hammering her opponent with that strike over and over against the fence!

Referee Herb Dean stops the fight with just six seconds left in the first frame! Calvillo was shelling up and offering no defence.

That’s the first time Calvillo has been stopped in her professional MMA career. Andrade said she would be the person to end that run!

UFC 266: Andrade vs Calvillo

03:15 , Alex Pattle

The main card begins with a women’s flyweight clash between former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade and gym-mate Cynthia Calvillo!

UFC 266: Dvalishvili def. Moraes

02:59 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Dvalishvili def. Moraes

02:56 , Alex Pattle

That’s seven wins in a row for Dvalishvili!

Up next, the main card...

UFC 266: Dvalishvili def. Moraes

02:55 , Alex Pattle

Finally, the fight is stopped!

Moraes simply wasn’t fighting back, but rather turtling up as Dvalishvili relentlessly struck him from above.

That fight sums up how unique this sport is: Moraes could easily have been awarded a first-round TKO victory, but the referee let the bout continue and Dvalishvili found a way back into the contest – and, eventually, a way to win.

Merab Dvalishvili def. Marlon Moraes via second-round TKO (ground strikes, 4:25).

UFC 266: Moraes vs Dvalishvili

02:51 , Alex Pattle

Dvalishvili stuns Moraes early in this second round, and the Brazilian hits the canvas!

Dvalishvili dominating from above now, throwing plenty more hammer fists and slicing forearms.

This fight could easily have been stopped in the first round, with Moraes hurting Dvalishvili so badly.

But referee Keith Peterson let the bout continue, and Dvalishvili has been utterly dominant. Unreal.

UFC 266: Moraes vs Dvalishvili

02:46 , Alex Pattle

A fun start! Moraes and Dvalishvili exchange rapid combos, but Moraes throws one kick too many and is taken down... Great work to climb back to his feet, though.

Ohh! Moraes drops Dvalishvili with a left hook, then stuns him with an uppercut as soon as the Georgian pops back up!

Moraes chases his opponent to the fence and is *pouring* it on! Left hooks, uppercuts – he’s doing so much damage, but somehow Dvalishvili is still standing!

He runs away to create space, and Moraes chases him again.

WOW! Dvalishvili clinches against the fence, then produces a takedown out of nowhere! He rains down hammer fists and nearly finishes Moraes, but the Brazilian survives to the bell!

What is happening?! Round of the year?

UFC 266: Moraes vs Dvalishvili

02:36 , Alex Pattle

Former bantamweight title contender Marlon Moraes is in action next against Merab Dvalishvili.

UFC 266: Hooker def. Haqparast

02:35 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Hooker def. Haqparast

02:34 , Alex Pattle

Hooker calls out his haters – “Don’t hunt what you can’t kill, baby!” and No3 lightweight Beneil Dariush – “You’re a coward if you duck me!”

Hooker making the most of his time on the mic.

UFC 266: Hooker def. Haqparast

02:31 , Alex Pattle

Hooker immediately pays respect to Haqparast and his opponent’s family, following the recent death of the German’s mother.

“It’s incredible that he showed up. Credit to him, he’s got a massive future.”

UFC 266: Hooker def. Haqparast

02:30 , Alex Pattle

Dan Hooker def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:29 , Alex Pattle

Perfect timing on a double-leg takedown by Hooker, and he’s straight into side control.

He controls Haqparast for a while, until the German manages to find a way to his feet.

Haqparast shoots for his own takedown, but Hooker slips to the side and grabs his opponent’s back – lovely stuff.

He takes the German down again and ends the fight in side control, firing off punches.

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:22 , Alex Pattle

“We gotta knock him out. Blitz him.”

That’s the message from Haqparast’s coach Firas Zahabi!

GSP also in the corner.

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:21 , Alex Pattle

Hooker clinches Haqparast against the fence and lands some nasty knees to the body! Beautiful.

He also sends Haqparast’s mouthguard flying...

The pair separate in space. Hooker looks so sharp right now. He’s evading shots so fluidly.

He grapples his opponent against the fence once more, then secures a takedown!

Hooker ends the second round in control.

UFC 266

02:16 , Alex Pattle

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:15 , Alex Pattle

Haqparast lands a clean one-two! But Hooker is undeterred, still pressing forward and throwing kicks.

Haqparast tries for another counter left, and Hooker slips – no knockdown.

After his devastating KO loss to Chandler in January and the post-fight moment in which Hooker left his gloves in the Octagon, it’s nice to see the ‘Hangman’ seemingly so relaxed and confident here.

He ends the first round seeking a single-leg takedown, which Haqparast defends well.

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:11 , Alex Pattle

A great crowd reaction for Hooker.

The New Zealander was forced to circle the Octagon for the majority of his brief encounter with Chandler in January, but here it’s the ‘Hangman’ who takes the centre of the ring.

He flicks out low kicks and teep kicks to the body, while Haqparast looks for big counter left hands.

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:05 , Alex Pattle

On top of his visa troubles, Haqparast’s mother died very recently. The German has made no secret of the fact that he was extremely close with her, so here’s hoping he is able to clear his head in the Octagon this evening.

UFC 266

02:04 , Alex Pattle

Backstage, Nick Diaz arrives in his locker room ahead of his rematch with Robbie Lawler.

Who’s there to greet him? Old rival Georges St-Pierre, who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this weekend!

Surely GSP isn’t going to be in Diaz’s corner tonight...?

UFC 266: Hooker vs Haqparast

02:00 , Alex Pattle

It’s remarkable that this next fight is even taking place.

Both New Zealand’s Dan Hooker and Germany’s Nasrat Haqparast had visa issues this week.

Somehow, both men were able to make it to Las Vegas and make weight for their lightweight encounter.

Hooker’s last outing came in January, when he was knocked out by Michael Chandler in the first round of his opponent’s UFC debut, on the undercard of McGregor vs Poirier II.

Haqparast, meanwhile, outpointed Rafa Garcia in his last bout, in March.

UFC 266: Daukaus def. Abdurakhimov

01:54 , Alex Pattle

Happy birthday Chris Daukaus! What a way to celebrate for the No10-ranked heavyweight, who will surely climb the rankings come Monday morning.

UFC 266: Daukaus def. Abdurakhimov

01:51 , Alex Pattle

Chris Daukaus def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via second-round TKO (ground strikes, 1:23)

UFC 266: Abdurakhimov vs Daukaus

01:50 , Alex Pattle

Abdurakhimov is warned by the referee for having his fingers extended, and Daukaus shows his opponent the middle finger!

And the American soon lands another knockdown, this time with a right straight!

Daukaus again gets to work with the ground and pound, and elbows are enough to force referee Mark Smith to step in!

Daukaus wins via second-round TKO.

UFC 266: Abdurakhimov vs Daukaus

01:46 , Alex Pattle

Down goes Abdurakhimov!

Daukaus catches him on the end of a left hook and the Dagestani topples backwards to the mat!

Daukaus mounts his opponent and pours on the ground and pound, but there’s not much time left in the round!

Abdurakhimov survives for now... That was close to a finish.

UFC 266: Abdurakhimov vs Daukaus

01:44 , Alex Pattle

Daukaus just misses with an uppercut as he throws a counter combo.

Another counter flurry, and this time Daukaus finishes it successfully, landing a left hook.

Abdurakhimov lands a right hand over the top then two counters of his own – both left hands.

A competitive first round so far.

UFC 266: Abdurakhimov vs Daukaus

01:35 , Alex Pattle

Next up, it’s heavyweight action! Shamil Abdurakhimov faces Chris Daukaus.

UFC 266: Santos def. Modafferi

01:31 , Alex Pattle

Taila Santos def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC 266: Modafferi vs Santos

01:30 , Alex Pattle

Santos briefly attempts a rear naked choke, but Modafferi is able to twist to safety.

Santos in fact decides to let the ‘Happy Warrior’ back to her feet, which isn’t necessarily a bad idea, given how the bout has gone thus far.

That said, Modafferi isn’t done yet and uses a clinch to push Santos back to the fence.

Santos with yet another takedown late in the fight, though, after finding space in the Octagon. She ends the contest on top.

We’ll go to the judges’ scorecards.

UFC 266: Modafferi vs Santos

01:27 , Alex Pattle

Modafferi tells her corner between rounds that she can’t her them during the action – one of the downsides to fans being back.

Modafferi, however, gets those fans going with some sneaky strikes early in the third and final round, but Santos is bringing greater power and knocks down her opponent against the fence!

Slicing elbows from above by Santos...

UFC 266: Modafferi vs Santos

01:24 , Alex Pattle

A role reversal in this second round: Modafferi catches a body kick and forces Santos to the fence, before dragging her down.

Santos recovers well, however, to reverse the position and take Modafferi’s back.

Strikes cut open Modafferi, too – she appears to be her bleeding from her forehead.

Santos ends the round on top.

UFC 266: Modafferi vs Santos

01:17 , Alex Pattle

Modafferi is driven to the fence and taken down early on.

She briefly threatens some submissions on the mat, before building off that threat to find a way back to her feet – much to the delight of the Las Vegas crowd.

Santos soon takes Modafferi down again, but once more the ‘Happy Warrior’ rises!

First round to Santos, but an unsurprising amount of heart on display from Modafferi.

UFC 266: Modafferi vs Santos

01:11 , Alex Pattle

Fan favourite Roxanne Modafferi takes on Taila Santos in a women’s flyweight bout to get the prelims under way!

Here we go.

UFC 266: Main card and prelims

Sunday 26 September 2021 00:20 , Alex Pattle

The early prelims are under way as we speak. We’ll be bringing you live updates from the prelims shortly. Here’s a look at tonight’s card:

Full card

Main card

Alexander Volkanovski (C) vs Brian Ortega (featherweight title)

Valentina Shevchenko (C) vs Lauren Murphy (women’s flyweight title)

Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler (middleweight)

Curtis Blaydes vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (heavyweight)

Jessica Andrade vs Cynthia Calvillo (women’s flyweight)

Prelims

Marlon Moraes vs Merab Dvalishvili (bantamweight)

Dan Hooker vs Nasrat Haqparast (lightweight)

Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Chris Daukaus (heavyweight)

Roxanne Modafferi vs Taila Santos (women’s flyweight)

Early prelims

Uros Medic vs Jalin Turner (lightweight)

Cody Brundage vs Nick Maximov (middleweight)

Matthew Semelsberger def. Martin Sano via first-round KO (punch, 0:15)

Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales via second-round submission (rear naked choke, 3:31)

UFC 266: Jon Jones arrested on domestic violence charge

Sunday 26 September 2021 00:01 , Alex Pattle

UFC star Jon Jones was allegedly arrested in Las Vegas on a misdemeanour domestic violence charge on Friday, Clark County Detention Center inmate records showed.

The former light heavyweight champion, 34, is said to have been charged with misdemeanour battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle.

The arrest allegedly took place on Friday morning, just hours after Jones’ 2013 fight against Alexander Gustafsson was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Full story here:

UFC star Jon Jones arrested on alleged domestic violence charge

UFC 266: Why we should be worried about Nick Diaz’s return

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:58 , Alex Pattle

“It is hard not to be drawn in to the anticipation flooding through the MMA fanbase as they prepare to watch Nick Diaz fight for the first time in six years. It is hard not to understand the excitement in seeing the American, arguably the UFC’s greatest ever cult personality, taking on Robbie Lawler in a rematch 17 years in the making.

“But boxing’s recent descent into carnivalesque contests, with older competitors chasing yesterday – yesteryear, even – has taught us that a bout such as Diaz vs Lawler II is more likely to end in blood, sweat and the wrong kind of tears than in candidacy for fight of the year.”

Full fight preview here:

Why we should be worried about Nick Diaz’s UFC return

UFC 266

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:47 , Alex Pattle

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of UFC 266!

UFC 266 sees three major bouts take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas tonight, including two title fights and the return of an MMA icon.

In the main event, Alexander Volkanovski makes the second defence of his welterweight belt, taking on Brian Ortega after the pair’s slow-burn rivalry heated up significantly at this week’s press conference. Australian Volkanovski (22-1) and American Ortega (15-1) were opposing coaches on the most recent season of the Ultimate Fighter TV show, and their respective styles should make for an intriguing match-up. Volkanovski is a well-rounded athlete with an answer for most foes, while Ortega is a jiu-jitsu specialist who has significantly enhanced his striking skills in recent years.

In the co-main event, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (21-3) faces challenger Lauren Murphy (15-4), with most followers of the sport hoping that Murphy can at least offer the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian a rare tough test.

Fans will also witness the highly-anticipated return of Nick Diaz, older brother of Nate, as he fights for the first time in six years. Diaz (26-9) takes on former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (28-15) in a rematch of their 2004 bout, with this five-round contest having been changed to a middleweight fight this week.

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