LAS VEGAS – The UFC featherweight title will be officially up for grabs on Saturday. Champion Alexander Volkanovski weighed in at 144.5 pounds and challenger Brian Ortega weighed in at 144 pounds at the official weigh-in at UFC Apex on Friday morning.
The two will meet in the main event of UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena. Volkanovski vs. Ortega was initially scheduled for UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was called off. The two were head-to-head coaches on a heated season of The Ultimate Fighter over the summer.
ESPN ranks Volkanovski No. 6 on its pound-for-pound list of MMA fighters. At featherweight, ESPN has Volkanovski at No. 1 and Ortega at No. 3.
Volkanovski (22-1) is perfect 9-0 in the UFC. The Australian has not fought since a split decision victory over Max Holloway at UFC 251 in July 2020, his first defense of the title. Volkanovski, 32, has not lost since May 2013 in his fourth professional fight. He beat Holloway to win the title at UFC 245 in December 2019.
Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) is coming off a unanimous decision win over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung last October. The Mexican American from California has only one career loss and that came in a featherweight title fight, against Holloway at UFC 231 in December 2018.
Ortega, 30, has a 7-1 (1 NC) record in the UFC.