Looking to make the second defense of his title, Volkanovski will finally meet someone other than the former champ Max Holloway in a five-round title fight. The two combatants were first scheduled to fight at UFC 260 in March, but due to lingering COVID-19 virus effects, the fight was postponed. Then, the promotion decided to just dub them both as coaches of the latest season of TUF.
Ahead of their clash title clash on September 25 at UFC 266, the featherweight champion details his run-ins with the title challenger Ortega on the reality show.
“It’s funny because he goes, ‘You acted like we’re cool.’ Well, obviously, we were cool,” Volkanovski said. “(Then) I called you a piece of sh*t to your face a few times. I called you fake to your face. I literally said it in that episode. I said, you play this nice guy and now you’re telling me ‘We’re on my time’ like it’s all about you. That’s what annoyed me.
“Again, I’m alright. It’s not like he’s the worst human being alive. But hanging out, being there with him so much — usually I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, that’s just who I am. Usually I don’t have bad things to say about people. But spending more time with him, I’ve got some things to say and that’s just that.” Alexander Volkanovski said to MMA Fighting.
The champion believes the UFC’s TUF editing team did Ortega a huge favor and painted him in a positive light despite the champion implying that Ortega was not looking out for his team’s best interests.
“I’m giving away too much information but they’re cropping in videos of Ortega with the boys from later in the weeks and bring it in the first week to make him look good,” Volkanovski said. “It’s not their job to make him look like a piece of sh*t but he’s lucky the editing team is doing him a solid because, put it this way: I believe I was in it for the boys. But time will tell. Hopefully, you’ll get to see more of that through the show.”
The season is four episodes deep and the tension is building between the two coaches as fight day steadily approaches. Initially, it seemed as though there was little animosity between the two, but lately, the coaches have been making the rounds in the MMA world and it appears that no love is lost.
As it stands, the two will meet at the UFC 266 pay-per-view slated for September 25. Volkanovski is coming off his second win against former champion Max Holloway.
In a shocking display of striking evolution, Brian Ortega will enter his second title fight after a successful outing against “The Korean Zombie” last October. Without a doubt, it will be the stiffest challenge to date for the champ since he had to endure a nasty bout of the COVID-19 virus.