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Alexander Volkanovski talks Ortega, says he puts Israel Adesanya ‘on the backfoot’ in training

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Alexander Volkanovski talks about his upcoming title defense against Brian Ortega and how he’s even able to pressure Israel Adesanya in training.

UFC 245: Weigh-Ins Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was impressed with Brian Ortega’s performance against Korean Zombie at UFC Fight Island 6, but ‘The Great’ is confident he will break ‘T-City’ in their upcoming title fight in 2021.

“I believe I’m going to break him,” Volkanovski told told SCMP MMA in a recent interview (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock). “The way that Max did, I believe that’s somewhere I can go with. Especially with my pressuring style. This is a fun fight for me because I get to put the pressure on. I get to be in his face which is fun and people want to see that.”

Volkanovski, who trains with undefeated UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya at City Kickboxing in New Zealand, said he even forces Adesanya on the backfoot in sparring despite being several weight classes lighter than ‘The Last Stylebender’.

“… There’s levels to this,” Volkanovski added. “I believe my pressure, when I use it, my pressure’s on a whole ‘nother level that not many people in the world have felt. Izzy, Israel Adesanya said himself that I’m half his size and when we’re sparring, he realizes this guy is pressuring me, getting me on the backfoot. ‘Wait a minute, this guy is half my size, I can’t let that happen.’ So he stands his ground. Before he knows it, he’s on the backfoot worrying about what I’m doing. … That’s something that you don’t understand until I’m standing in front of you.”

Volkanovski vs. Ortega hasn’t been made official, but UFC president Dana White confirmed that Ortega — the No. 2-ranked featherweight in the world — would get the next title shot following his unanimous decision victory over Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 180.

Expect an official fight announcement in the coming weeks.