Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega postponed from UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols

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The featherweight title no longer will be on the line at UFC 260.

Just a week prior to the scheduled bout between champion Alexander Volkanovski and challenger Brian Ortega, the promotion announced the matchup has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

The news was announced on Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 21 broadcast. The issue, according to a report on the broadcast, stemmed from Volkanovski’s side. Earlier Saturday, Volkanovski teammate Brad Riddell had his UFC on ESPN 21 co-main event against Gregor Gillespie pulled due to COVID-19 protocols.

No new date for the fight was been announced.

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Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) is riding a 19-fight winning streak into his second UFC title defense attempt. Following six straight wins to kick off his UFC tenure, Volkanovski defeated then-champion Max Holloway by unanimous decision at UFC 245 in December 2019.

Seven months later at UFC 251 in July 2020, Volkanovski and Holloway fought for a second time. Volkanovski successfully defended his title for the first time when he defeated Holloway by split decision.

In October, Ortega (15-1 w. 1 NC MMA, 7-1 UFC) returned from a 22-month absence from competition. Over the course of five rounds, Ortega dominated surging contender Chan Sung Jung for a unanimous decision and reentered the win column following a devastating title shot loss to Holloway in December 2018.

UFC 260 takes place March 27 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

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