Alexander Volkanovski is very impressed with the new-look Brian Ortega, but he also doesn’t think Ortega’s improvements will alter the outcome of their fight in the slightest.
At only 29 years old, it should come as no surprise that Brian Ortega is still making big leaps as a mixed martial artist. But many were surprised to see the extent to which Ortega has improved his striking when he outclassed The Korean Zombie in October, and reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was among these people.
“It took me by surprise because I didn’t expect him to fight, I wouldn’t say fight smart, but his shot selection, a couple of things that I just didn’t expect,” Volkanovski told SCMP MMA. “I thought he would just be looking for the finish, that’s what he does.
“… But there, he showed patience, shot selection, fakes — a lot of things that we work on. Whether he took some notes out of our book, I don’t know, but he’s obviously stepped it up and he looked good.”
Volkanovski Expects To Break Brian Ortega
Fans who witnessed Ortega’s shining performance against The Korean Zombie naturally shaped questions of how Ortega will look against reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski. Picturing this new-and-improved version of Ortega having a second shot at featherweight gold is an exciting prospect. For Volkanovski, it is exciting as well, albeit for different reasons. Because the better the fighter Ortega is, the stronger the demonstration of how great Volkanovski is if he gets the victory.
“It’s exciting for me but at the same time, I really do believe I’m just on a whole other level and I’m so well-rounded, I can take the fight wherever it is,” Volkanovski said. “I’m the guy that never quits. With me, it’s so easy to say I’m well-rounded but it goes so much deeper than that. There are so many little things that I just have down to a tee and I work so hard to make sure that I am such a complete fighter that if someone gives me trouble somewhere, I can always take it somewhere else.
“I believe I’m going to break him,” Volkanovski continued. “The way that Max did, I believe that’s somewhere I can go with. Especially with my pressuring style. This is a fun fight for me because I get to put the pressure on. I get to be in his face which is fun and people want to see that.”
How do you see the future showdown between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega playing out?