UFC 266: What to expect?
We are now a few days away from the latest event of the blockbuster Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 266.
Scheduled for September 25, 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, the battle card consists entirely of three matches, in particular, stand out.
In the first of them, Alexander Volkanovsky will play with Brian Ortega at the UFC Lightweight Championship. The UFC Women’s Lightweight Championship is also at the concert when champion Valentina Shevchenko met with Cynthia Calville. And last but not least: Nick Diaz is back in the UFC. Robbie Lawler is a man who hopes to ruin Diaz’s return.
All three of these high-profile matches are sure to arouse great interest from both fans and those who bet on sports. If you are wondering which fighters you should support, we support you. Below we have compiled a single guide to everything you need to know about the upcoming event.
Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler
Many thought this would not happen, but six and a half years after his last UFC match – without a competition against the legendary Anderson Silva – Nick Diaz returned. Diaz was one of the most controversial action stars in the 2010s.
Without passing several drug tests in the UFC, he first advocated for the company back in 2003, where he defeated Jeremy Jackson at UFC 44 through a sub-mission. After that, he quickly climbed the map thanks to his second victory over Jackson, as well as the victory over Robbie Lawler, which he will face this month – Drew Ficket and Cody Oishi.
However, he eventually hit the wall in the UFC, taking his talents elsewhere after defeating Glayson Tobau at UFC 65. Impressive with other promotions during the late 2000s, fans wanted to see him return to the major leagues, and eventually they eventually fulfilled their wish with Diaz returning to UFC 137 where he defeated B.J. Foam.
That win put him in the fight for the UFC welterweight championship, but he lost consecutive title fights to Carlos Candit and Georges Saint-Pierre. This was followed by the defeat of Silva, when both men did not pass drug tests.
After a gigantic career, the 38-year-old Diaz is returning to where he became famous. His opponent at UFC 266 will be familiar to him since he defeated Lawler in 2004. Since then, both men have changed a lot, making it hard to predict.
Bookmakers also find this match difficult, even if Lawler is a small favorite UFC Odds 266. It is currently at -200 and Diaz can be supported at +100.
So which fighter is most likely to win. Well, as we mentioned, it’s seriously hard to name. Diaz was a world-class fighter ten years ago. A true master of mixed martial arts, he combines the disciplines of boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a truly devastating package. The only problem with supporting him is that after such a long break in the sport he is unknown.
What fills Diaz with confidence is Lawler’s recent UFC record. After being an outstanding lightweight fighter, lately he has increasingly fed on young talent, gaining only one victory in his last six fights.
Another defeat from Diaz and Lawler falls even further on the map, so he will be desperate to prove that he still has the opportunity to earn to be at the top of the accounts.
Alexander Volkanovsky v. Brian Ortega
While Diaz and Lawler are ending their careers, Alexander Valkanovsky and Brian Ortega are on top. The former is a UFC welterweight champion, but Ortega will be desperate to win the belt after losing the title bout against Max Holloway in 2018.
This is the only loss in Ortega’s professional career at the moment and he will not want to make it second against Volkanovsky.
However, a very difficult match awaits him. Volkanovsky lost only one fight in his professional career – and it happened back in 2013 in his native Australia. Since then, 18 victories have followed, and he has already stated that confident of compliance later this month.
His fights tend to go a long way: six of his nine fights in the UFC end in victory by court order. Meanwhile, Ortega is more likely to win the fight early. During his career in the UFC, he won only once by court order. This should be for an intriguing clash of styles at UFC 266.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy
Our three exciting matches of Valentin Shevchenko against Lauren Murphy are coming to an end. Shevchenko has been holding the UFC championship at the right weight for some time, first winning the belt from Joanna Ejejczyk at UFC 231 back in December 2018. There have been five successful defenses since then, and bookmakers also consider her a favorite in this match.
But it can be a difficult evening for Cooley. Murphy is in a pretty hot series, having won five impressive back wins against Marie Romero Borrell, Andrea Lee, Roxana Madafera, Lilia Shakirova and Joan Calderwood.
As she approaches her 40th birthday, Murphy will know that the time in order to win the title will run out, giving her extra motivation to perform at UFC 266.