UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has a new title defense scheduled for March 27 against No. 2 contender Brian Ortega. It will be Volkanovski's second bout as the division's titleholder.
Alexander Volkanovski became the featherweight champion after defeating Max Holloway via unanimous decision in UFC 245. 'The Great' had a rematch with Holloway as his first title defense and managed to hold his belt with another victory - this time via split decision.
The information comes from ESPN's Ariel Helwani. According to the reporter, sources told him the bout would be the night's co-main event at UFC 260, which already has Stipe Miocic versus Francis Ngannou competing for the UFC heavyweight title.
Ortega, who only fought once in the last two years, comes from a victory over 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung in 2020. Ortega also had a title shot against Holloway in UFC 231, but a doctor stoppage finished the bout near the end of the fourth round.
Still at the top, the No. 1 featherweight contender, Holloway, will face Calvin Kattar in UFC Fight Island 7, aiming to get himself another chance to recover his belt.
Alexander Volkanovski's trajectory to become the UFC featherweight champion
After seven straight wins in the UFC, Alexander Volkanovski finally got himself a title shot. Although he stripped Max Holloway of his belt in a convincing performance, Volkanovski's title defense seven months later still generates controversy.
Even though many fans and MMA analysts believe that Holloway should be declared the winner, Alexander Volkanovski thinks he deserves to be the featherweight titleholder regardless of the opposing opinions.
"Don't let anyone tell you who you should be. You be yourself and proud of (it). I am proud that I could be myself. I am champion, whether people like it or not, and I am here to stay," said Alexander Volkanovski to the South China Morning Post.
On the other hand, Holloway is convinced that he should have had his hand raised at the end of their rematch. The former champion told ESPN's Brett Okamoto he would have no problems facing Alexander Volkanovski yet again.
"My mentality is just different, you know. It's like if it were Kobe (Bryant) and Michael (Jordan), they would play ten times just to let people know who the best is. They would play each other ten times... If you want to run it back 100 times, we can do it. I am going to show you that I am the better guy," said Holloway.
Do you think Max Holloway should get another title shot if he gets past Kattar at UFC Fight Island 7? Sound off in the comments.