UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has a different opinion over Brian Ortega now as opposed to before they filmed The Ultimate Fighter together at the UFC Apex.
Volkanovski and Ortega are opposing coaches for the return of The Ultimate Fighter after a few years away from production. During a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, Volkanovski gave fans some insight into the brewing tension between the champion and top contender in the UFC’s featherweight division.
“To be honest, he doesn’t say much, and I’m a bit over him, to be honest,” Volkanovski said. “I think he’s fake and I don’t believe his shit, he plays a nice guy and I think it’s all bullshit. I don’t think he’s that bad of a guy, maybe I’m just looking for things to hate him for. But it’s not hard to get under his skin. Maybe I’ll use that for our fight, the fact I know how easily he gets triggered.”
Volkanovski and Ortega are expected to fight after this season of the show concludes, which Volkanovski said during his chat with Joe Rogan could be as soon as September. Ortega moved up the ladder in the 145-pound division by defeating “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Island 6. In his first title shot, Ortega lost to then-champion Max Holloway at UFC 231.
Volkanovski has emerged as arguably the best featherweight in all of MMA by earning the title over Max Holloway and defending the belt against “Blessed” for his first title defense. Volkanovski was supposed to face Ortega earlier this year before he suffered from a severe case of COVID-19 that forced the UFC to postpone the matchup.
The two top featherweights appeared to be on good terms, with Ortega even going as far as posting a video message sending well wishes to Volkanovski after the news broke of his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. But that seems to have soured over during their time together for a long period in Las Vegas.
The UFC’s featherweight division is arguably one of the deepest in the promotion, with Volkanovski and Ortega right at the top. Their recently alleged bad blood will only bring more eyes to their championship bout later this year.
What are your early predictions for Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega scheduled to take place sometime later this year? What are you most excited to see when The Ultimate Fighter premieres on June 1st?