Protocols amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of next weekend’s scheduled UFC featherweight championship matchup between defending titleholder, Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski and challenger, Brian T-City’ Ortega.
Slated to take co-headlining honours at UFC 260 at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada next weekend, COVID-19 protocols has forced the postponing of the clash — with a main event heavyweight championship rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou the sole remaining title fight on the card as a result. The promotion’s broadcast team reported the unfortunate news during tonight’s UFC Vegas 22 preliminary card.
Set to attempt the second defence of his 145-pound championship, City Kickboxing standout, Volkanovski had secured his first successful defence at UFC 251 last July in Abu Dhabi, taking a second consecutive decision win over former champion, common-opposition, Max Holloway.
For Ortega, the Californian grappling force made a triumphant return to active-competition after an almost two-year layoff last October also on ‘Fight Island’. Headlining UFC Fight Island 6 against fellow one-time title challenger, ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung, the prominent grappler secured a one-sided unanimous decision win over the South Korean striker to retain his #1 rank at featherweight.
Following a close championship-winning effort against the above-mentioned, Holloway at UFC 245 in December of 2019, New South Wales native, Volkanovski lodged an even closer win over the Hawaiian favourite last summer in the co-main event of UFC 251.
The victory followed prior Octagon triumphs against former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, multiple-time title challenger, Chad Mendes, and division mainstay, Darren Elkins to name a few.
30-year-old Los Angeles native, Ortega is a nine-fight UFC veteran, holding a 8-1(1) promotional resume. Prior to his return to winning ways against Jung in October, Ortega had dropped a punishing unanimous decision loss to Holloway at UFC 231 in December of 2018.
With seven submission successes and a further three knockouts littered on his record, Ortega has bested the likes of Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, Diego Brandao, Clay Guida, and to earn his shot at Holloway, he became the first to finish former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar.