BREAKING: Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski Returns Against Brian Ortega at UFC 260

January 16, 2021 10:29 pm

Alexander Volkanovski is coming back with a vengeance. After facing months of criticism over his controversial win over Max Holloway in 2020, the champion gets his first non-Max test. That challenge comes from Brian Ortega, who has fought just once since October 2018. In his only showing since, ‘T-City’ summarily beat The Korean Zombie in late-2020.

While the pair were rumored to be matched up ever since Ortega beat TKZ, this is the first announcement for it. Ariel Helwani reported it for ESPN through multiple sources.

Helwani also mentioned that this fight may end up being the co-main event to the Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic rematch. If that isn’t booked, Volkanovski and Ortega are capable of ending a show on their own as well.

Ortega had one of the most one-sided title fight losses to Max Holloway, and fans will hope that this second crack at the title isn’t as catastrophic as his first. Meanwhile, ‘The Great’ will get another chance to further his legacy at FW after having beaten Holloway twice now.

Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega: Who wins?

The fact that Ortega and Alexander Volkanovski have had different results while facing Max does not mean that is a good indicator for this fight. However, the incumbent champion will be the favorite heading into the fight.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 10: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia poses on the scale during the UFC 251 official weigh-in inside Flash Forum at UFC Fight Island on July 10, 2020 on Yas Island Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

One of the biggest issues that came up when Ortega first challenged for the belt was that he was hyped up way too much. He somehow entered the fight against Max as the favorite and suffered his maiden professional loss.

Volkanovski and Ortega are both elite strikers and are known to pack heavy punches. As a result, whoever wins the defensive battle in this fight will probably walk out as champion. ‘T-City’ will look to use his massive reach advantage to keep Alex away. However, the champ did overcome the reach advantage that Holloway had on him to win two fights.

Ortega may be taking a step too far after just returning from that debilitating loss in October 2018. However, he looked motivated and energetic against TKZ, and if he provides an encore, the fight will be a thriller.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. He has previously written for The Indian Express, The Quint,, and In that time, he has covered a wide variety of sports, including pro wrestling. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication.

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