UFC Featherweight Champion and Shellharbour City Council, Australia native Alexander Volkanovski (22-1 MMA 9-0 UFC) will most likely face off against Brian Ortega in a title defense that can very well be the challenge that he’s been looking for. Volkanovski is coming off back-to-back wins in dethroning Max Holloway at UFC 245 to win the title in Las Vegas by unanimous decision. In the automatic rematch between the two, the Hawaiian put up more of a fight in an attempt to reclaim the title, but failed to by falling by split decision.
As for Volkanovski’s potential opponent, Ortega defeated “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung by a unanimous decision in his own right at UFC Fight Night in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. With Ortega boosting his MMA record to 15-1, 7-1, his lone loss to Holloway, with a no contest decision to Mike De La Torre, he’s had impressive wins over marquee names such as Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, Cub Swanson, and Diego Brandão. Six of his seven wins have been by earlier finishes. This may be why Volkanovski is rolling out the red carpet to the Black House MMA product.
Ortega has finished the majority of his fights and poses a big threat to the champion, which by the looks of the tweet may be more exciting than intimidating for Volkanovski.
With a Muay Thai background, Volkanovski also shows to be a versatile grappler in Greco-Roman wrestling and had high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a brown belt under Joe Lopez. Undefeated inside the Octagon, Volkanovski looks to add Ortega as another victim. He also looks to win against “T-City” in front of an Oceanic crowd, whether in Australia or New Zealand. Pushing for the fight to be in one of those countries, it may be a safer bet to be in New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been re-elected for her successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a strong push for a crowd to purchase tickets in New Zealand, it’s a big step for the UFC to re-enhance their business back to where it was before the shutdown began back in March where they can sell tickets to the public again.
“Australia, New Zealand, we’re holding crowds over here,” Volkanovski told ESPN. “We had the Wallabies and All Blacks in New Zealand with 30,000 people. We’re gonna have 40,000 this weekend. Bring it over here. We could do it. Let’s make a game plan. Obviously, we got the fighters here to make it a cracker card, and you can bring people here, make game plans so the quarantine’s gonna work and whatnot. Let’s do it.”
With a date and location unknown, there’s a sense of speculation and wonder as to where the Volkanovski-Ortega fight will take place, but if the featherweight champion is happy of having a worthy opponent in Brian Ortega, then I guess we’re all happy.