VOLKANOVSKI DEFENDS HIS UFC CROWN … JUST
AUSTRALIAN Alexander Volkanovski walked to the cage on Sunday with a confidence of a man who probably can’t remember what it’s like to lose.
It’s been that long.
But the UFC featherweight champion nearly tasted defeat — on more than one occasion — at UFC 266 against Brian Ortega.
Volkanovski survived two submission attempts — a mounted guillotine, then a triangle choke — in the third round, that looked certain to end the fight, before recovering to dominate the rest of the fight.
The 32-year-old from Shellharbour claimed his 20th straight win (10th straight in the UFC) via unanimous decision; ultimately outpointing Ortega 49-46, 50-45, 50-44.
Ortega, a fighter with a knack of finding the finish, was largely outclassed by Volkanovski. But not before giving the champion a serious scare.
Volkanovski, as he’s made a habit of doing, controlled the pace of the fight throughout the 25 minutes of his second title defence, which came more than a year after his first.
The main event match-up was initially scheduled for March, before Volkanovski tested positive for Covid-19; forcing the UFC to reschedule the bout.
“Obviously when he got some of the submissions, some of them were pretty tight,” Volkanovski admitted. “For some reason I stayed on the ground with him.”
Volkanovski added: “I feel like an idiot saying some things I did because he proved himself.”