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Alexander Volkanovski confident his pace will be too much for Brian Ortega to handle at UFC 260

Alexander Volkanovski is looking to overwhelm Brian Ortega.

Featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) will defend his title against Ortega on March 27 in the UFC 260 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

After defeating Max Holloway twice in a row, Ortega is the fresh challenge Volkanovski has been looking for. But not only is “T-City” a new face for the champion, he’s a refined and improved version who was able to outclass Chan Sung Jung in impressive fashion this past October.

Volkanovski recognizes the advancements Ortega (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) has made in his game.

“The guy’s always been a good fighter,” Volkanovski told MMA Junkie. “I talk about his improvements as if he wasn’t good. He’s always been a great fighter and he’s always had a lot of good skills. But I believe he has evolved. This whole ‘Ortega 2.0,’ I believe it. I’ve seen a different fighter in there – even though he’s always been dangerous. He’s always been good at timing and picking the right shots, but right now all the in-betweens he’s just got down pat at the moment. There’s a lot of things that I’ve seen that was impressive, so I’m expecting a new challenge, a tough challenge and a different challenge.

“I’m not going to sit there and roll around on the ground and play jiu-jitsu with him. Let’s be realistic with that. He’s a type of guy, you slip up on the ground, that’s it – over. So the respect is there for Ortega. I’m ready for a challenge. But at the same time, I’m too confident in my abilities and I know where I’m at. I just don’t believe anyone is there with me, and if I’m on on the day, no one can beat me. Ortega has improved, but I just have to prove that I’m on a whole other level.”

Volkanovski is looking to break Ortega and despite the fact Ortega has never been finished, the champion thinks his pressure will be too much and will lead to a stoppage midway through the fight.

“Come fight time, I’m going to be fit. I’m going to put on a pace,” Volkanovski said. “A pace is definitely something we’re going to see. It’s going to be a high-paced fight that no one can deal with, and I don’t care who it is in front of me: When I put that pace on, they’re going to slow down. I guarantee it.

“I’m putting on a pace that no one can deal with, and we know he’s got a great chin and he’s tough and he’s a goer, and even when he’s hurt, even when he’s tired, he’s still swinging. So there’s going to be a lot of opportunities there. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities to get the finish. I know he’s tough and he’s shown fitness. But again, I’m going to put a whole other pace. I’m in good nick and the stuff I’m doing in the gym right now, no one’s going to be able to keep up, and I think I’m getting him mid-rounds. That’s truly what I believe, and that’s what I’m seeing. I’m just going to go out there and do my thing, and I’m expecting a mid-rounds finish.”

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