LAS VEGAS — The UFC featherweight title will officially be on the line Saturday.
Alexander Volkanovski, the champion, weighed in at 144.5 pounds Friday morning and challenger Brian Ortega was 144 pounds at the official weigh-in here at the UFC Apex.
The two will meet in the main event of UFC 266 at T-Mobile Arena. Volkanovski vs. Ortega was initially scheduled for UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout was pushed off. The two were coaches opposite each other on a heated season of “The Ultimate Fighter” over the summer.
ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 6 on its pound-for-pound list of MMA fighters. At featherweight, ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 1 and Ortega at No. 3.
Volkanovski (22-1) is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC. The Australia native has not fought since a split decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 251 in July 2020, his first title defense.
Volkanovski, 32, has not lost since May 2013, his fourth pro 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 Chan Sung Jung last October. The California native has only one career loss and that also came in a featherweight title fight, against Holloway at UFC 231 in December 2018.
Ortega, 30, holds a 7-1 (1 NC) record in the UFC.
For the co-main event, both Valentina Shevchenko (124 pounds) and Lauren Murphy (125) weighed in successfully for their UFC women’s flyweight title fight.
Shevchenko (21-3) is ESPN’s No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound women’s fighter in the world. The 33-year-old Kyrgyzstan native, who fights out of Las Vegas, has only lost to one woman in the UFC: current pound-for-pound queen and double champion Amanda Nunes. Murphy (15-4), a 38-year-old Alaska native fighting out of Houston, has won five straight.
Dan Hooker and Nasrat Haqparast both successfully made weight for their lightweight fightv despite getting into Las Vegas on Thursday night due to visa delays. Hooker (155.5 pounds) was coming from New Zealand and Haqparast (154.5) from Germany. They both got their visas earlier this week.