Referee Herb Dean was selected to oversee the championship contest by a unanimous vote on Wednesday at a meeting of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). The judges selected for Volkanovski vs. Ortega were a trio of Las Vegas regulars: Michael Bell, Sal D’Amato, and Junichiro Kamijo.
As for the co-main event, veteran referee Keith Peterson was appointed to oversee Valentina Shevchenko’s defense of her UFC flyweight title against Lauren Murphy. The judges selected for Shevchenko vs. Murphy were Dave Hagen, Eric Colon, and Chris Lee.
Dean and Peterson will both be paid a $2,500 fee for their roles, while all six judges will be paid $2,000, per NAC officials.
Volkanovski (22-1) is unbeaten over his nine-fight UFC run and was last seen defeating former UFC champion Max Holloway in back-to-back fights. Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) has won just one fight over the last three years but it was a lopsided decision over Chan Sung Jung last October.
Shevchenko (21-3) is a perfect 7-0 since dropping to the flyweight division and is the No. 2 pound-for-pound women’s fighter on MMA Fighting’s Global MMA Rankings. She’ll take on Murphy (15-4), a former Invicta FC champion who has won five consecutive fights over the likes of Joanne Calderwood and Roxanne Modafferi.
UFC 266 takes place Sept. 25 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.