‘Brian Ortega’s choke was ‘f**k I’m about to lose the belt deep”: Alexander Volkanovski reveals how close he came to being submitted by featherweight rival in UFC 266 headline act
- Alexander Volkanovski managed to defend his featherweight title in Las Vegas
- However, Brian Ortega did a guillotine choke that could have been game over
- Volkanovski was full of respect for his American opponent after a brutal fight
- In the other title fight, Valentina Shevchenko defended her flyweight belt
Alexander Volkanovski admitted that he feared for the defence of his UFC featherweight crown against Brian Ortega after coming through a gripping contest in Las Vegas.
The pair headlined UFC 266 in a highly anticipated showdown as the Australian was gunning for his 20th successive victory.
Ortega was competing in his second UFC featherweight championship fight after after losing to Max Holloway in 2018 and the American looked like he might force a tap in the third round when he produced a guillotine choke, which Volkanovski confirmed was close to ending the fight.
Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his UFC featherweight crown in Las Vegas
However, the Australian admitted that Brian Ortega nearly made him tap out in the third round
‘It was deep,’ the champion said. ‘It was, ‘Oh, f**k, I’m about to lose the belt deep.’ But the type of human being I am, we talk about me going through adversity, always being prepared and busting my ass, never-give-up attitude and all that s**t, that’s what you seen.
‘I was deep. That was as deep as it can get. No sh*t. I remember I was making f*cking weird noises. I don’t remember what noise I made, but it was a weird, ‘Oh, f*ck, I hope I don’t lose this belt’.’
Volkanovski also had to work hard to get out of a triangle choke shortly afterwards as he was forced into spells of grappling with a man whose forte is jiu-jitsu as the 34-year-old was dropped a couple of times before securing a 49-46, 50-45 and 50-44 win after five gruelling five-minute rounds.
‘The boys were telling me more, posture up, stand up, and I thought they meant: ‘Get the f*ck out of there’, which I don’t blame them for saying that if they did, but I thought they wanted me to keep raining bombs.
The 34-year-old paid tribute to his American opponent as the headline fight went the distance
Volkanovski’s win means he has won the featherweight belt for the third time in as many fights
‘I was giving him big shots, and it looked like he was done, but he come back stronger. So I’m just going to give him credit.’
In the other main-card title fight, Valentina Shevchenko defended her UFC flyweight belt for the sixth time in succession after a TKO against Lauren Murphy deep into the fourth round.
Elsewhere, Nick Diaz retired less than a minute into the third round of his comeback against Robbie Lawler after more than six years away from the sport, Curtis Blaydes recorded a narrow points victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Jessica Andrade saw off Cynthia Calvillo inside the first round of their flyweight clash.