Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega Will Be Co-Main Event of UFC 260

By in MMA on
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Alexander-Volkanovski-vs.-Brian-Ortega

Alexander Volkanovski is set to defend the UFC featherweight title against no. 2 ranked contender Brian Ortega at UFC 260 on March 27th.

The bout will serve as the co-main event of UFC 260 which will be headlined by the highly-awaited heavyweight title showdown between champion Stipe Miocic and top contender Francis Ngannou.

9-0 in the UFC

Volkanovski won the UFC featherweight championship by defeating Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019. He successfully defended the belt by beating Holloway via a disputed split decision at UFC 251 last July 12, 2020. Volkanovski is 9-0 since making his UFC debut five years ago. He has won 19 consecutive bouts overall and has not lost since getting knocked out in his fourth professional MMA bout.

The 32-year old from New South Wales, Australia was a decorated MMA champion from the Far East. Volkanovski was the former AFC featherweight champion, PXC featherweight champion, and Cage Conquest welterweight champion. The former Rugby player joined the UFC in 2016 and has climbed all the way to the top of the mountain.

Following his victory over Holloway at UFC 251, Volkanovski said that he’d rather not face the former champion in a third fight. Instead, he said that he was looking for a new challenge and with Ortega returning from a two-year layoff with a sensational performance against the Korean Zombie, this matchup was expected to happen.

New and Improved

Not only did Brian Ortega reveal a new look in his comeback fight at UFC Fight Island 6 last October, but he was also a new and improved fighter. Known for his long hair, Ortega shaved his head bald in his fight against the Korean Zombie. But aside from ditching his luscious hair, Ortega displayed a much improved striking game that was always missing from his arsenal.

Ortega made a name for himself as one of the best submission artists in his division. Known as T-City, seven of Ortega’s 15 total wins have been by choke out. But while he rode on that strength on his way to the top, he was easily outstruck by Max Holloway when he challenged for the UFC featherweight title at UFC 231. In that fight, Ortega suffered the first loss of his MMA career, and it wasn’t just a loss-he was knocked out by Holloway.

The former RFA featherweight champion suffered a knee injury after the Holloway loss and spent two years on the shelf. While away, he worked on his striking game, and in his comeback fight against the Korean Zombie, Ortega looked like an elite striker and a more complete fighter.

Trilogy Fight in the Horizon?

UFC betting sites released betting odds for this featherweight title bout and Volkanovski is listed as the favorite at 1.44 and Ortega is listed at 32.75. If the champion’s implied winning probability of 69.44% holds, he could be up against a familiar foe in his third title defense.

Max Holloway’s one-sided demolition of the 6th ranked Calvin Kattar at last weekend’s first UFC event of the year at Fight Island impressed a lot of people, including UFC President Dana White. When asked after the bout if Holloway earned a title shot for that performance, White said that Holloway deserves another crack at the belt.

Nothing is set in stone, especially in the UFC but if Volkanovski successfully defends his belt against Ortega this March, a trilogy fight against Holloway is likely on the horizon. It may not be the fight that Volkanovski wants, but it’s one that needs to happen next.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...

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