UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) will meet Ortega within the first quarter of 2021, however a date is but to be official. Dana White teased a February matchup, however Volkanovski would slightly see the combat pushed again a bit extra so he’s in a position to get sufficient time to conduct his camp at Metropolis Kickboxing in New Zealand.
Ortega (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) is coming off arguably his finest efficiency but during which he shut out Chan Sung Jung and outstruck him over the course of 5 rounds within the UFC on ESPN+ 38 headliner.
The win repositioned Ortega into title rivalry and caught the champion’s consideration.
“It took me unexpectedly as a result of I didn’t count on him to combat – I wouldn’t say combat sensible, however his shot choice, there was a few issues that I simply didn’t count on,” Volkanovski told SCMP MMA. “I believed he would simply be in search of the end, that’s what he does.
“However there, he confirmed endurance, shot choice, fakes – quite a lot of issues that we work on. Whether or not he took some notes out of our ebook, I don’t know, however he’s clearly stepped it up and he regarded good. He actually did look good.”
Nevertheless, regardless of Volkanovski being impressed with Ortega’s developments, he stays unfazed. He sees an analogous recreation plan that Max Holloway was in a position to implement when he battered Ortega in 2018 as a blueprint that may work.
“I imagine I’m going to interrupt him,” Volkanovski stated. “The best way that Max did, I imagine that’s someplace that I can go along with – particularly with my pressuring model. This can be a enjoyable combat for me as a result of I imagine I get to place the strain on. I get to be in his face, which is enjoyable. Folks need to see that.
“There’s ranges to this, and I imagine my strain, once I use it, my strain’s on a complete different stage that not many individuals on the planet have ever felt.”
Volkanovski is coming off back-to-back wins over Holloway and has stated on quite a few events that he’s excited to tackle a brand new problem within the featherweight division. He acknowledges Ortega is harmful all over the place, however isn’t afraid to dabble on the bottom with the jiu-jitsu ace if needed.
“It’s thrilling for me, however on the similar time, I actually do imagine I’m simply at a complete different stage,” Volkanovski stated. “I’m so well-rounded. I can take the combat wherever it’s. I’m the man that by no means quits. With me, it’s really easy to say I’m well-rounded, however it goes a lot deeper than that. There are such a lot of little issues that I simply have right down to a tee, and I work so laborious to ensure that I’m such an entire fighter that if somebody provides me bother someplace, I can at all times take it some other place.
“Even when I’ve to go to the bottom with Ortega … I don’t want to fret about him taking me down. We’ll see. Clearly, I can’t give an excessive amount of away, but when I need to take somebody down, I can. Am I going to have a BJJ match with him in the midst of a UFC combat? No. However once more, I’m a really sensible fighter. There’s completely different guidelines to simply on the BJJ mats. We will punch you on the face. We’ve obtained a cage. There’s quite a lot of obstacles in an MMA cage, particularly when you need to use your fingers and elbows and whatnot.”