Brian Ortega doesn’t think Alexander Volkanovski looked “like the same Volk” against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298

By Cole Shelton - February 21, 2024

Brian Ortega doesn’t think Alexander Volanovski looked like his usual self in his UFC 298 title fight against Ilia Topuria.

Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega

Volkanovski was coming off a KO loss to Islam Makhachev back in October for the lightweight title and was making a fairly quick turnaround to face the undefeated challenger. Heading into the fight, Volkanovski was a slight betting favorite, but Topuria was confident he would KO the champ.

Ultimately, Ilia Topuria scored a second-round knockout win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298 to become the new featherweight champion. Although Topuria looked impressive in the win, fourth-ranked featherweight Brian Ortega didn’t think Volkanovski looked as good as he usually does.

“Props to Ilia, he won, that was impressive, it was a very, very devastating KO he got. For Volk, I’m trying to look at it from both perspectives. Either Topuria’s game plan was very good, staying calm, moving back, throwing power punches, and then Volk, I don’t know, to me, it didn’t seem like the same Volk, right? Seeing him and being in front of him, I’m like you are moving different but obviously, you adjust for every opponent hat you have. So, who knows, but I am curious to see what happens now in the featherweight division,” Brian Ortega said at UFC Mexico City media day.

It is an interesting take from Brian Ortega who gave props to Ilia Topuria but also thought Alexander Volkanovski didn’t look like his usual self. Now, with Volkanovski asking for an immediate rematch, it will be interesting to see if the Aussie can return to form, or if Topuria is just that good.

As for Brian Ortega, he is set to finally return to the Octagon in the co-main event of UFC Mexico City on Saturday night against Yair Rodriguez, in a five-round scrap. It’s his first fight since he suffered a shoulder injury in his UFC Long Island main event fight against Rodriguez in July of 2022, and has been dealing with injuries since then.

But, if Ortega can go out and upset Rodriguez on Saturday night, ‘T-City’ could position himself to get a title shot and fight Ilia Topuria his next time out.

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Alex Volkanovski Brian Ortega Ilia Topuria UFC