UFC 266 headliners Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega put on what could be one of the greatest featherweight title fights in recent memory. So much so that both men took home $50,000 for Fight of the Night honors.
Saturday night marks Volkanovski’s second successful title defense and 20th consecutive career victory. But there was a moment in the third round when “The Great” one felt the title was slipping away from him.
A slightly buzzed Volkanovski spoke got to speak to the media in a post-fight scrum where he addressed the “deep” guillotine choke from Ortega, and how he fought it off.
“It was ‘f—k, I’m about to lose the belt’ deep,” he told reporters.
“That was as deep as it can get. No shit, as deep as it can get. I remember I was making f—ng weird noises. I remember I was sitting, I was, like, going (makes a sound). I don’t know what noise I made. He even said I was gurgling. But that was, like a weird… ‘Oh f—k!’ like, I’m about to lose this belt.
“I obviously kept fighting and just opened a little bit of space, I’m like, ‘alright, I’m good.’ And then got my chin out and it was all good. And then he chucks me in the f—ng triangle as well. So, mate, it just shows that T-City, he’s known for his jiu-jitsu.
“I thought that he wouldn’t get me that deep, but he did. Credit to him. He made me really dig deep to get out of there but I’ve said time and time again that I always dig deep, and that’s what champions are made of.”
The night’s headliner caught the attention of fellow fighters like Conor McGregor, who posted this tweet.
Volkanovski dismissed it as possibly drunken behavior, but he isn’t closing his doors on a possible fight with the Irishman. He’s even willing to jump up to 155 pounds to make it happen.
After #UFC266, @alexvolkanovski responds to @TheNotoriousMMA’s post-fight tweet — talks possibility of moving up to 155@espnmma || @ESPNAusNZ— Phil Murphy (@Phil_Sports) September 26, 2021
Full interview: https://t.co/vx5NwXPMru pic.twitter.com/UQyokCvEn4
“Let’s go up to 155. Let’s do it. 155, I’mma make it happen,” he said in another post-fight interview with ESPN’s Phil Murphy. “While we’re waiting for the next fight for the contender, let’s do it. I’ve got a couple of months. I’ll stay here if I have to.”
Volkanovski now holds a record of 23-1.