For the last year, the UFC featherweight title has been held up by the ongoing rivalry between current champion Alexander Volkanovski and former champion Max Holloway. In October though, former title challenger Brian Ortega outclassed Chan Sung Jung, inserting himself into the title conversation once again. It was a performance that surprised and impressed the featherweight champion.
“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 (h/t The Body Lock). “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.”
The performance from Ortega was an excellent one and showed a great deal of improvement since his loss to Holloway. Plus, given that Volkanovski already has two wins over Holloway, albeit the second one controversially, Ortega appears to be next up for the featherweight champion. It’s something Volkanovski has been asking for since winning the belt - new challengers - and it’s an opportunity he is ready for.
“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. 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.”
Volkanovski didn’t just stop there, though. The featherweight champion went on to explain, given how successful he is in the training gym against the current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, that Ortega will be a simple task to handle.
“… There’s levels to this,” Volkanovski said. “I believe my pressure, when I use it, my pressure’s on a whole ‘nother level that not many people in the world have felt. Izzy, Israel Adesanya said himself that I’m half his size and when we’re sparring, he realizes this guy is pressuring me, getting me on the backfoot. ‘Wait a minute, this guy is half my size, I can’t let that happen.’ So he stands his ground. Before he knows it, he’s on the backfoot worrying about what I’m doing. … That’s something that you don’t understand until I’m standing in front of you.”
The the fight is not official yet, Volkanovksi vs. Ortega is expected to be made for early this year.
Fighters of the Year.
Best moments of 2020.
Biggest upsets of 2020.
Best of Bellator in 2020.
UFC fighters react to street beefs.
Khamzat returns to Chechnya.
On to the Next One. A 2021 predictions extravaganza.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Stipe is your rival I’m your superior.— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 3, 2021
. @Trailblaze2top making videos on ig bragging about how he likes to smoke weed. You ain’t slick , out here trying to get busted by USADA so he can get suspended and don’t have to fight . You ain’t slick ! #KeepYourLevelsInCheck #BrunsonvsHollands— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) January 3, 2021
Gray Maynard on his contracts with the UFC.
After that fight joe Silva bumped me up to $42k/$42k and no pay per view points or anything. That’s what happens when there are no rules or laws protecting fighters. Promoters end up making all the money. Pre fight speech, “Fight hard, so you can make us all the money” https://t.co/1ARLNfiMTv— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) January 3, 2021
Absolutely terrible contract. I went on a 8 fight win streak and was locked into that contract almost the whole time. I went 10 fights without a loss. https://t.co/1gEkoAAQpO— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) January 3, 2021
If Raegan fights MMA the way she fights sleep, she will surly surpass all your accomplishments @Amanda_Leoa— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) January 4, 2021
Mike Perry having a normal one.
I’m not free, I don’t have time, I don’t wanna talk , don’t care what you have to say, Im not taking a picture, don’t ask how I’m doing , please leave me alone unless you want to give me money then just give it to me and then you can ask your question. ✌️— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 3, 2021
Idc, the fans suck, people suck , they crowd your space , they talk trash behind your back, they offer nothing but a waste of time, I like to be left alone with my little family and that’s all I want. I’m just tweeting these to tell y’all to mind your manners— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 3, 2021
You’re all rude af, and I’m just the messenger. You think you deserve something for watching fights or you think you know how a fighter should act when you never stepped in the ring. Just remember none of you would talk that shit man to man. Your place is on Twitter #RealWorld— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 3, 2021
Funny nobody ever says it to my face. I’m really with the shits. See the thing is I’m well known but I’m not celeb status that I need public body guards. I’ll do it myself. Why would someone need a body guard to walk down the street? Cuz people are disgusting.— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 3, 2021
The fans don’t pay us. The company’s endorsements do. The money is already on contract. My real fans know what I’m talking about and they watch out of love. The rest of y’all just salty.— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 3, 2021
No matter what I do it’s never enough. So I act out. Happy to spill my own blood.— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 4, 2021
Dan Hooker (20-9) vs. Michael Chandler (21-5); UFC 257, Jan. 23.
Welcome to 2021, you hooligans. Let’s hope it’s better than last year.
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