Initially, the bout was scheduled for March, but then unfortunately the featherweight champion contracted COVID-19, and the title match with Ortega was postponed. However, a silver lining formed as the two were dubbed with the opportunity to serve as head coaches on the return season of The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN+.
The UFC 266 card is set to take place on September 4. When asked about where Ortega and Volkanovski fit into the pay-per-view picture, the UFC boss said the following.
“Yeah, that is [UFC] 266,” White told Submission Radio.
The pay-per-view event is currently expected to be headlined by light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz defending his title against the 41-year old Glover Teixeira, who is on a five-fight win streak. Since no location or venue has yet to be announced, according to sources at ESPN, there is a possibility the fight date could be pushed back to accommodate the UFC’s plan for a London return. With confusion in the air, White admitted to the uncertainty of the company’s plans at the moment.
“No, 266 we don’t know yet,” White said of the location. “We’re still, you know, you’re talking about the end of September for that fight. So, who knows. Listen, everything looks like it’s going in the right direction. I don’t know about Canada and Australia, but everything else is looking like it’s going in the right direction.”
At least now we know which event Volkanovski and Ortega will fight at. Without a doubt, fans will be eager to see the two featherweights compete after watching them verbally jab each other on The Ultimate Fighter for a whole season.
Do you think Brian Ortega has the skills to dethrone Alexander Volkanovski?