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Alexander Volkanovski Beats Brian Ortega, Retains Featherweight Title at UFC 266

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Alexander Volkanovski efficiently defended his UFC featherweight championship with a unanimous choice win over Brian Ortega in the principle occasion of UFC 266 from Las Vegas. 

Although the ultimate scorecards seemed like a convincing win for the champion his margin for error was razor-thin on this one. He survived a number of tight choke makes an attempt from the challenger to earn the title protection in a wildly entertaining five-round battle. 

The first spherical noticed each males have their moments because the strike stats have been practically an identical. Volkanovski was a little bit extra environment friendly, shifting out and in and set up his leg and physique kicks as a menace. However, the challenger utilized his size by placing his jab to good work and disrupting the champ’s rhythm. 

Both fighters turned up the warmth in Round 2. They transitioned from a felling out section to really throwing heavy strikes. Volkanovski performed the function of aggressor most of the time. He backed Ortega to the fence on a number of events and landed some important strikes. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

The champ @alexvolkanovski beginning to put it collectively 👊 #UFC266 https://t.co/UBAXjjphav

After the second body the 2 shared a little bit verbal trade. After the 2 shared a season of The Ultimate Fighter collectively as coaches it should not come as a shock there was some further stress. 

UFC @ufc

Things are getting intense after RD 2 🤬👀

[ #UFC266 | Tune in LIVE on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/2qE0lEWxD2 ] https://t.co/MJUl3RjGu1

From that second the battle hit an all-new degree of untamed. The champ opened the spherical with appreciable momentum when Ortega did what he does finest—bounce on a choke. Ortega sunk in a deep guillotine choke that Volkanovski by some means bought out of. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

HE GETS OUT 🤯

@alexvolkanovski escapes Ortega’s choke! #UFC266 https://t.co/4a6PWGxZSA

From there, the champion took prime place and was as soon as once more in management however Ortega struck once more with a triangle choke try that after once more put the battle in jeopardy for Volkanovski. He escaped once more from Ortega’s go-to submission and completed the spherical sturdy. 

The fireworks continued within the fourth as Ortega had one other tense guillotine try and Volkanovski practically completed the battle with floor strikes. 

UFC @ufc

HEAVY pictures from the champ 👊😳

[ #UFC266 is LIVE on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/2qE0lEEWLu ] https://t.co/WuBBeGj9hA

The fifth spherical noticed a crushed and battered Ortega hanging on however nonetheless preventing. He landed a proper hand that seemed to be heavy nevertheless it was extra of a coronation spherical for the champion who showcased why he has that distinction. 

Ultimately, it was the form of battle that can elevate each fighter’s profiles. 

Volkanovski’s rise to championship standing has been unbelievable to observe, however the win over Ortega provides much more legitimacy to his reign. After taking the belt from Max Holloway and narrowly defeating him through break up choice in his first title protection, that is the primary time he is fought somebody aside from the Hawaiian since May 2019. 

That was when Volkanovski took out featherweight legend Jose Aldo 5 months after knocking out Chad Mendes. 

The matchup with Ortega took some time to lastly come collectively. The two have been scheduled to battle within the spring, however a constructive COVID-19 take a look at for the champion postponed the bout and the 2 have been chosen to educate in opposition to each other within the return of The Ultimate Fighter TV collection. 

With Ortega now behind him, the division appears like it may transfer ahead, however the subsequent huge identify for Volkanovski may not even be within the group. 

Bellator champion A.J. McKee has made feedback about testing himself in opposition to the very best the UFC has to supply if the cash is correct. 

The Australian has already addressed the excitement, explaining his doubt about McKee’s resume, which features a good 18-0 file. 

“It’s simply completely completely different,” he stated, evaluating his rise with McKee’s, per Alexander Ok. Lee of MMA Fighting. “You’ve bought a bunch of absolute killers. He may very well be a killer himself, however he hasn’t had the competitors that we have had. That’s apparent, however once more, is he an amazing fighter? Yeah, he in all probability is. Will he beat me? No.”

Although the champ solely has two title defenses to his identify, he already holds wins over among the prime ranked names within the division. He holds wins over three of the highest 5, together with two over Holloway. 

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