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UFC 266 Official With Two Title Fights, Nick Diaz Return

The UFC 266 card will not only feature a pair of title fights, but the return of Nick Diaz, as he faces Robbie Lawler.

September is shaping up to be a big month for the UFC, as UFC 266 will feature two title fights and Nick Diaz.

Diaz will take on Robbie Lawler on September 25 with Alexander Volkanovski and Valentina Shevchenko each defending their titles.

Volkanovski meets Brian Ortega and Shevchenko takes on Lauren Murphy.

All the action goes down from Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena.

Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, NSW, Australia) aims to continue his run atop the featherweight division with another dominant performance. The former rugby player turned MMA star holds impressive victories over Max Holloway (twice), Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. Volkanovski now has his sights set on getting the last laugh against Ortega and securing his second successful title defense.

Submission wizard Ortega (15-1 1NC, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) turned heads in his last outing by putting on a striking clinic against Chan Sung Jung in October. A talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, he has also netted spectacular wins over Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Clay Guida. Ortega now aims to settle the score with Volkanovski and achieve his dream of capturing UFC gold.

Shevchenko (21-3, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) has proven herself to be among the most dominant champions in UFC history. A decorated kickboxer, she has delivered memorable victories against Jessica Eye, Holly Holm and Julianna Pena. Shevchenko now looks to continue building her legacy with another show-stealing title defense.

Murphy (15-4, fighting out of Houston, Texas) intends to shock the world by becoming the first fighter to defeat Shevchenko at 125 pounds. During her UFC run, the 11-year MMA veteran has earned notable victories over Joanne Calderwood, Andrea Lee and Mara Romero Borella. Murphy is now gunning to dethrone Shevchenko and become only the third women’s flyweight champion in UFC history.

MMA superstar Diaz (26-9 2NC, fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) returns to the Octagon for the first time in over six years. Throughout his epic career, he has secured sensational wins against former UFC champions BJ Penn, Frank Shamrock and Lawler. Diaz now intends to remind fans he’s still among the best in the world by taking out Lawler a second time.

Lawler (28-15 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) hopes to even the score with Diaz 17 years following their first encounter. The former UFC welterweight champion has delivered thrilling knockouts against Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger and Josh Koscheck, and he now aims to secure a measure of revenge against Diaz and begin climbing the ladder back to the belt.

Additional bouts on the card include

  • In a pivotal heavyweight contenders’ bout, No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes (14-3 1NC, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) takes on No. 6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2, fighting out of Paramaribo, Suriname)
  • No. 1 ranked Jessica Andrade (21-9, fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) faces No. 5 Cynthia Calvillo (9-2-1, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) in an exciting clash of women’s flyweight contenders
  • No. 6 ranked bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes (23-8-1, fighting out of Parkland, Fla. by way of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) aims for another highlight-reel finish when he squares off with surging No. 10 Merab Dvalishvili (13-4, fighting out of Long Island, N.Y. by way of Tbilisi, Georgia)
  • In a pivotal heavyweight contenders’ bout, No. 7 ranked Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-5, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) faces No. 10 Chris Daukaus (11-3, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.)
  • Rising bantamweights meet when Ricky Simon (18-3, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) faces Timur Valiev (18-2 1NC, fighting out of Toms River, N.J. by way of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia)
  • Manon Fiorot (7-1, fighting out of Nice, France) hopes for another impressive finish when she takes on submission ace Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1-1, fighting out of Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil) at flyweight
  • Undefeated Uros Medic (7-0, fighting out of Anchorage, Alaska by way of Novi Sad, Serbia) meets Jalin Turner (10-5, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) in an intriguing lightweight bout
  • In a clash of Dana White’s Contender Series veterans Karl Roberson (9-4, fighting out of Neptune, N.J.) takes on Nick Maximov (6-0, fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) at middleweight
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