In the main event of UFC 266, we saw a showdown for the featherweight championship. The undisputed UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) was back to defend his title against “T-City” Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC).
Alexander Volkanovski lost his fourth professional fight which occurred in 2013. He hasn’t lost since. The champion is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC which includes two victories over Max Holloway. Volkanovski was hoping to add Ortega to his hit list.
That said, Brian Ortega was not going to be an easy challenge to overcome. T-City looks like a completely different fighter than he was a few of years ago when he got his first crack at the UFC title against Max Holloway.
After nearly a two year layoff due to injuries, Ortega returned last October and outclassed Chan Sung Jung. In that fight he showed tremendous improvement in his striking. He believes he’s now ready to become the UFC featherweight champion.
UFC 266 Recap
The UFC 266 main event started with a touch of the gloves. Volkanovski throws a low kick to start the striking. Ortega looking to strike from range here in the opening minute. Body kick lands from the champion.
Low kick from Volkanovski and Ortega comes up top with a head kick attempt. Ortega pushes forward with a couple of nice jabs. A nice jab from Volkanovski as Ortega enters range. Big overhand right from the champion.
Nice low kick lands for Ortega. Ortega lands a jab that looked like it wobbled the legs of Volkanovski briefly, but he appears okay. Volkanovski goes right back to pressuring and lands some nice leg kicks.
Body kick from Volkanovski and he lands a check left hook. Jab lands for Ortega. Stiff jab from Volkanovski. Big right hand lands for Volkanovski. Both men are bleeding here near the end of the first.
Nice combination lands for Volkanovski and Ortega lands a nice leg kick. Body kick from the champion and Ortega lands a couple of nice straights. Ortega lands a couple of nice shots near the end of the first, but I have it 1-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Both men had their moments in the first at UFC 266 and neither gained a ton of momentum. The second starts with another touch of the gloves and Volkanovski goes right back to the pressure with low kicks.
Body kick from Volkanovski is countered by a beautiful combination from Ortega. Low kick from the champion lands and Ortega counters with a jab. Left hook from Volkanovski. Powerful leg kick from Ortega spins around Volkanovski.
Volkanovski lands a body kick flush. He steps in but Ortega lands a nice combination to back him off. Good lead hook from the champion. Volkanovski stepping up the pressure here.
Nice right hand by Ortega lands but Volkanovski is just plotting forward. Jab from Ortega countered by two leg kicks from Volkanovski. Huge combination lands for the champion and he’s getting more aggressive here.
Powerful leg kick from Ortega backs Volkanovski up for a second. However, the champion keeps moving forward. Another good 1-2 lands for Volkanovski. Jab from Volkanovski countered by a leg kick from Ortega. The second ends nd I think it’s 2-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Brian Ortega has had moments, but he needs to win this round. They touch gloves to start the third and Ortega lands a jab to start the striking. Good low kick counter from Volkanovski. Volkanovski lands another kick and that one seemed to hurt Ortega a little.
Ortega tries to counter but doesn’t land. Pressure from the champion who’s looking for that leg kick. Ortega steps in and eats a massive combination from Volkanovski. Ortega seems a little wobbly here and Volkanovski is putting a ton of pressure on him.
However, a big combination from Ortega stops the pressure. Nice overhand shot from Volkanovski. Ortega is really busted up now, but he comes back and lands a good shot. Big left hand lands for Volkanovski.
Nice left hook lands for Ortega but his nose looks smashed. Nice jab from the champion. Volkanovski slips and Ortega takes big advantage. Ortega locks in a mounted guillotine and it’s very tight.
The champion almost seems out but somehow survives. Volkanovski then gets top position and he’s pouring it on Ortega badly. Then Ortega locks in a triangle choke and it’s very deep.
Once again the champion survives and pushes through. Volkanovski starts raining down massive shots to the end the round. Goodness gracious what a round at UFC 266.
Entering the fourth and the fans are on their feet at UFC 266. The doctors almost stopped it in between rounds but we fight on. Volkanovski immediately on the pressure to start the fourth round.
Low kick lands for the champion. Two straight jabs from Volkanovski. Ortega is still trying to recover a bit. The challenger is plotting forward now and lands a nice right hand. Good jab from Volkanovski finds the mark.
Powerful left hook lands from the champion. Ortega gets a body lock and gets a takedown. The challenger immediately tries to jump on another choke, but he can’t lock it in. Volkanovski ends up on top and the ground and pound starts.
Big elbows from Volkanovski landing here. Ortega is still trying to attack with submissions, but he seems really exhausted here. Big shots landing from the champion. Volkanovski postures up and he’s landing massive shots on Ortega.
The referee is looking at stopping this one. More big shots from Volkanovski land. Volkanovski backs up and lets Ortega stand up. Ortega looks out on his feet, but he makes it to the end of the round. 4-0 Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Entering the final round at UFC 266 and Ortega is going to need a miracle here. They touch gloves and here we go. Ortega pushes forward and tries to land a big shot but nothing home.
Head kick attempt from Ortega and Volkanovski is pressing forward. Big jab from Volkanovski lands. He doubles up on it which forces a takedown attempt from Ortega. Volkanovski backs him up and lands an elbow against the fence.
Nice little right hook lands for Ortega. Ortega coming on a little here the fifth and he’s really trying. Volkanovski lands a nice combination which slows him down a bit. Ortega is now the one pushing forward as Volkanovski is slowing a bit.
Big right hand over the top from Ortega. These two are just standing and trading. Nice uppercut and right hand from Ortega. Now it’s Volkanovski who starts pressuring the challenger.
Nice jab lands for Volkanovski. Flying knee to the body lands for Ortega. Ortega is wearing damage but he’s just walking forward through everything. They both trading big shots. Ortega goes all out in the final seconds but can’t find the finish. He will win the final round, but not the fight.
Alexander Volkanovski def. Brian Ortega by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 49-46)