The first time they were scheduled to fight, there was no real animosity between Brian Ortega and Alexander Volkanovski. Ahead of their UFC 266 throwdown however, the champ is not holding back on his thoughts of the challenger.
Before a bout of COVID-19 forced Volkanovski out of the contest, he and Ortega were expected to fight several months ago. Instead they were coaches on the return season of TUF, which has served to amplify the tension between the two, causing dislike among one another.
Heading into their highly anticipated championship fight at UFC 266 this weekend, the featherweight champ is excited to finally throw hands with T-City. Speaking on the MMA Hour, he says that fans can expect an entertaining fight, because he knows that Ortega will wilt under pressure when they face off.
“I’m going to be very calculated in my approach, but there’s holes that I see. Obviously you’ve got the guys like Max (Holloway), who’s a durable guy, who’s got a great chin, and he’s obviously fit and got a gas tank. So a guy like that is going to be more difficult,” Volkanovski explained.
“With Ortega, even being with him through The Ultimate Fighter and things like that, I can just see through his mentality and the things that he said, that he’s not good under pressure. He looked great in his last fight, but that’s just because he was able to do whatever he wanted.”
Alexander Volkanovski Respects Max Holloway
If Alexander Volkanovski gets past Brian Ortega on Saturday night, there is a solid chance that he will be having a third fight with former champ Max Holloway. The two had a pair of close fights, and while Alex won both of them, many thought that the second one in particular should have gone to Max, after he dropped the champ.
One might expect this to frustrate Alexander, but this is not the case at all. He says that he actually does not mind fighting Max a third time, since the Hawaiian has fought other people since their rematch, instead of just trying to wait for a third fight.
“At the end of the day, he did what he had to do anyway. So we’ve got Ortega, Ortega’s the number one contender, I’m going to go out, take him out, and then whoever’s next. Who’s the next in line?” Volkanovski said.
“Max, he’s had his fights. I think he’s fight Yair (Rodriguez)… he wasn’t sitting back waiting, just to get another shot. So good on him, I’m going to give credit where credit’s due. He’s doing what a number one contender should do, what I did before I was the champ.”
Alexander Volkanovski faces Brian Ortega this weekend, at UFC 266. It will be interesting to see what will be next for him, if he gets past this tough challenger.