Volkanovski and Ortega are set to face each other at UFC 266 in September but ahead of their title match, the two fighters served as the coaches for the return of The Ultimate Fighter franchise. Though the two were respectful of each other prior to filming TUF, following their time together, Volkanovski had a change of tune, letting it be known that he believe Ortega was “fake.” Now, we’re starting to see where the relationship soured.
Currently, four episodes of the show have been released and thus far, Ortega’s team is pitching a shutout, winning all four bouts and retaining control of the matchmaking process. This streak has amped up tensions between Volkanovski and Ortega and on the most recent episode, the two got into a heated argument. Speaking with Submission Radio recently, the featherweight champion delved into the genesis of this spat.
“Them four weeks that you have seen those four episodes, they were all in one week,” Volkanovski said. “And it only me a week to get annoyed with him. It’s tricky because they’ve got editing, they’ve got to tell the stories and all that sort of stuff but they’re doing a good job to try and make him not look that bad, I believe.
“I think in that first week he didn’t even turn up to a session, I was told, and then he was late to every session. I was told this, and I’m like, ‘Mate, you make your team wait, that’s a sh*t go,’ but then we’re all waiting on him and I go, ‘What are we waiting for?’ and they didn’t want to tell me. Then I ended up finding out it was Brian. Everyone was just waiting for Brian. I’m like, ‘You’re gonna make your team wait, don’t make us wait. You’re gonna disrespect your team, don’t disrespect us.’ So that’s pretty much where that started.”
The argument on the most recent episode of TUF began with Volkanovski throwing shade at Ortega for being late to the fight selection process, but things escalated when Ortega told Volkanovski that they were on “his time” and then suggested Volkanovski was only mad because he keeps losing. Volkanovski categorically denies that was why he was upset.
“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.”
Since TUF, Volkanovski has been taking shots at Ortega through the media, but thus far, through four episodes, Volkanovski’s chief complaints about Ortega have not been all that apparent based on what’s been put on the show. Hopefully though, Volkanovksi says, that will change in the coming weeks.
“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.”
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