Alexander Volkanovski
The Great

Australia

Expected to fight Ortega in September
FeatherweightUFC
June 9, 2021
Volkanovski is expected to take on Brian Ortega for the featherweight title at UFC 266 on Sept. 4, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski and Ortega were originally scheduled to face off back at UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski caught COVID-19 and knocked him out of the bout. The reigning 145-pound champion will seek a second title defense after back-to-back wins over Max Holloway. This will be Ortega's second attempt at the featherweight title, after coming up short against Holloway back in 2018.
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Set to coach TUF Season 29
FeatherweightUFC
April 19, 2021
Volkanovski (illness) will coach season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Brian Ortega before defending his featherweight title against Oretega following the conclusion of the show, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski was originally supposed to face Ortega at UFC 260 on March 27, but he came down with a positive COVID-19 test, effectively cancelling that date. After coaching the first season of TUF since 2018, which will feature bantamweights and middleweights, Volkanovski will then take on the opposite coach, as is tradition. An official date hasn't been set yet, but the show is supposed to begin filming in late-April. Volkanovski was listed as high as a (-200) favorite prior to the late cancellation of the original fight, and while COVID-19 seemingly affects everyone differently, he'll presumably be a betting favorite of similar magnitude next time around.
Title defense pushed from UFC 260
FeatherweightUFC
March 20, 2021
Volkanovski and Brian Ortega won't fight for the featherweight title March 27 at UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski announced via his personal Twitter account that he tested positive for the virus, resulting in him being pulled from the card. The matchup is expected to be rescheduled for an unspecified later date.
Title defense coming in late March
FeatherweightUFC
January 18, 2021
Volkanovski (22-1-0) is scheduled to face Brian Ortega (15-1-0, 1 NC) in a fight for the featherweight title March 27 at UFC 260, Ariel Helwani of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The title fight is expected to serve as a co-main event for the card, which will also feature a battle for the heavyweight belt between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. A winner of 19 consecutive bouts, Volkanovski took the featherweight belt from Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019 and successfully defended his title in a rematch with Holloway at UFC 251 this past summer.
Digs deep to retain UFC gold
FeatherweightUFC
July 11, 2020
Volkanovski successfully defended his UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Max Holloway via split decision (49-48, 48-49, 49-48) at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski deserves all sorts of credit here. He looked considerably worse than he did in the first fight, and Holloway looked considerably better, but the Aussie still managed to walk out with the belt. Alex could have packed this one in early on. Max dropped him in the final seconds of each of the first two rounds. Volkanovski had nothing going as the fight headed to Round 3, but he dug deep and outworked Holloway over the majority of the final 15 minutes. Volkanovski struggled to land consistent offense compared to the first fight between the two, but he picked up three key takedowns over the course of the final two frames. Alex made some minor adjustments as the fight progressed and it resulted in the slightest of victories. Volkanovski and Holloway will almost certainly meet again at some point down the road but for now, Alex's next title defense will almost certainly be against someone else. Other top contenders in the UFC's loaded 145-pound division include Brian Ortega, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and The Korean Zombie.
Title defense set for Fight Island
FeatherweightUFC
June 9, 2020
Volkanovski will rematch Max Holloway for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ariel Helwani of ESPN
ANALYSIS
This will be a much-anticipated rematch between the two featherweights after Volkanovski came through as a betting underdog to take the belt from Holloway in December. That bout was contested primarily on the feet, with Volkanovski winning the battle of significant strikes 157 to 134. While he gives up five inches in height to Holloway, Volkanovski was still able to use a slight reach edge to his advantage. His primary technique to slow the movement of Holloway was the leg kick, as Volkanovski was credited with 75 significant leg strikes in the contest, compared to 17 for Holloway. Oddsmakers are predicting a repeat of this effort by Volkanovski, as he's currently listed as a betting favorite of roughly (-220) shortly after the fight's announcement.