Alexander Volkanovski defended his featherweight title with a bloody, tumultuous unanimous determination over Brian Ortega, and Valentina Shevchenko defended her flyweight belt with a fourth-round stoppage of Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 on Saturday evening.
After 5 brutal rounds and a hard-earned unanimous determination victory for Volkanovski in the primary occasion of UFC 266, there was little to do however for the 2 rivals to hug out their variations.
Volkanovski walked a harmful path on his solution to a large determination win. Whereas utilizing feints to throw off Ortega’s timing, the champion busted up the challenger’s face earlier than almost slipping into the mistaken facet of a fight-ending submission within the third spherical.
After a slip as Ortega landed a punch, Volkanovski discovered himself mounted underneath the challenger, who shortly locked up a guillotine choke. Volkanovski thrashed his method free to finish up on prime throwing heavy punches.
Ortega pounced and almost completed the champ with a guillotine choke, however Volkanovski willed his method out of it and obtained again on prime — just for Ortega to flee and to entice Volkanovski in a triangle choke that the champ additionally barely escaped.
“I assumed it was accomplished, you already know,” Ortega mentioned after the struggle. “That’s what we practice for. I used to be making an attempt to return for his head however that little bastard is hard as hell, man.”
Volkanovski (23-1) dominated the scorecards — 49-46, 50-45 and 50-44 — in his twentieth consecutive victory, however the Australian nonetheless needed to survive a unprecedented problem from the relentless Ortega (15-2), who didn’t give up regardless of a bloodied face and a clearly broken nostril. Volkanovski survived a spectacular third spherical by which each fighters seemed to be moments from ending the opposite.
“I assumed I used to be in his head, after which he got here again even stronger,” Volkanovski mentioned. “Credit score to him. … It’s simply preparation. I’m a standard human being. Arduous work obtained me to the place I’m. Everybody can do what I’ve accomplished.”
Volkanovski largely managed the primary two rounds together with his standard spectacular work price and hanging, however a bloodied Ortega knocked him down dramatically with a left hand within the third spherical.
Ortega was allowed to proceed after a go to from the ringside physician regardless of his apparently damaged nostril. Within the fourth, Ortega obtained one other takedown and almost landed one other choke, however Volkanovski gave a thumbs-up to the referee earlier than escaping and ending the spherical raining blows down on a inclined Ortega, whose face was bloodied once more.
“Man, it’s good preparation,” Volkanovski mentioned of his relentless tempo all through the 5 rounds. “I advised you. I’m a standard human being. Arduous work obtained me the place I’m. … All of the doubters, I’m going to maintain proving you mistaken time and time once more. Deliver it.”
With the win, Volkanovski is just the fifth fighter in UFC historical past to start out his Octagon profession with 10 consecutive victories. His 10-fight profitable streak is the third-longest energetic streak on the UFC roster, behind ladies’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (12) and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (14).
Volkanovski completed the fifth spherical sturdy, and each fighters obtained a number of standing ovations.
Volkanovski’s subsequent struggle will seemingly come towards the winner of the Nov. 13 UFC Combat Evening fundamental occasion between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez. Volkanovski defeated Holloway to win the title and gained a highly-controversial break up determination of their rematch.
- Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Brian Ortega by way of unanimous determination (49-46, 50-45, 50-44)
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) def. Lauren Murphy by way of fourth-round TKO (punches)
- Robbie Lawler def. Nick Diaz by way of third-round TKO (punches)
- Curtis Blaydes def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik by way of unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jessica Andrade def. Cynthia Calvillo by way of first-round TKO (punches)
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Marlon Moraes by way of second-round TKO (punches)
- Dan Hooker def. Nasrat Haqparast by way of unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Chris Daukaus def. Shamil Abdurakimov by way of second-round TKO (punches)
- Talia Santos def. Roxanne Modafferii by way of unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jalin Turner def. Uros Medic by way of first-round submission (rear bare choke)
- Nick Maximov def. Cody Brundage by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Matthew Semelsberger def. Martin Sano by way of first-round knockout (punch)
- Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales by way of second-round submission (rear bare choke)