UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski looks to make his second title defense on Saturday September 25. His opponent will be fellow Ultimate Fighter coach, Brian Ortega. This is an interesting matchup with Volanovski being a well rounded mma fighter whereas Ortega is a submission specialist. It all goes down Saturday at the T- Mobile Arena.
Volkanovski was born on September, 29 1988, in Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia. Volkanovski is of Yugoslavian and Greek descent. Volkanovski started training Greco-Roman wrestling and by age 12 he had won a national title in the sport. By the time Volkanovski was in High School he had decided to switch his focus to rugby. He eventually became a semi-pro rugby player and won the league’s top award.
Volkanovski began training as a way to stay fit during the rugby off season. He also returned to training Greco-Roman wrestling at this time. He developed a love for MMA at this age and decided to make a career out of competing in the sport. He started fighting as a middleweight, and decided to work his way down. He said of his first fighting experiences; “My first four fights in amateur at middleweight, and the first four professional were at welterweight. And I just kind of went down from there. Now obviously I’m very comfortable at 145, and it works perfectly.”
He loves fighting and likened the sport to playing in championship rugby games during every fight. Volkanovski stated “There are no excuses in fighting. You can be playing a team sport and have a good game, and you can lose. In fighting, it’s all on me. If I go out there and lose, then it’s my fault. I like that. So I know if I fight well, I’m going to win. I definitely love the fact that it’s all on you, and you do what you have to do to win. Each fight is like a grand final in the rugby league.”
By 2016 Volkanovski made it to the UFC the world’s premier MMA organization where he went on a tear winning his first seven fights guaranteeing him a title shot. He’d win the UFC featherweight championship against Max Holloway in December 2019 at UFC 245. He’d go on to defend his title in July of 2020 at UFC 251 on Fight Island against Max Holloway.
Volkanovski is set to take on fellow TUF coach Brian Ortega in a 5 Round Championship Bout. Both of these fighters have only one loss in their professional careers. With Volkanovski riding a 19 fight win streak. Both these fighters have shown their fight IQ as coaches in The Return of The Ultimate Fighter. And it is sure to be a great fight. Volkanovski comes in as a favorite to defend his belt but the odds are very tight and subject to change.
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