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Alex Volkanovski retains UFC world title

·3-min read

If Alex Volkanovski needed a new nickname he could claim The Terminator with the Australian proving unstoppable in his UFC world title defence in Las Vegas.

Volkanovski won a bloody battle against American Brian Ortega to retain his featherweight title with a unanimous points decision, 49-46, 50-45 and 50-44.

It was his 20th consecutive win, including 10 straight in the UFC.

Volkanovski said he hoped he would get the respect he deserved after his second title defence.

"All you doubters, I'm going to keep proving you wrong time and time again," Volkanovski said.

"It's about time for respect."

Volkanovski narrowly took the points in the opening two rounds before the fight escalated in the third, which many rated one of the best of the year.

The Australian managed to escape two submissions, with jiu jitsu black belt Ortega trapping the champion in a mounted guillotine and then a triangle choke.

Volkanovski then pounced on his opponent, pummelling Ortega who was left a bloody mess.

Ortega was checked by the ringside doctor at the end of the third, with Volkanovski later claiming the American should have failed the assessment.

Despite battling COVID-19 in March, Volkanovski kept moving forward on his opponent throughout.

He survived another guillotine in the fourth round, giving the referee the thumbs up, and continued to dominate as a courageous Ortega somehow lasted the five-round war of attrition.

"I thought it was done," Ortega said of the third round of the submissions.

"I was trying to go for his head, but that little bastard is as tough as hell.

"I wrapped on to that neck and tried to squeeze it; I tried to finish him and heard him gargling but he slipped out.

"He's the champ for a reason."

Volkanovski admitted that Ortega's guillotine choke was so tight he felt it might have spelt the end of his title reign.

"It was deep - it was 'I'm about to lose the belt deep'," he said.

"I was making weird noises but he opened a little bit of space and I got my chin out and it was all good."

While he slammed Ortega in the fight lead-up, calling the contender a "drug cheat", Volkanovski said the Californian had proven him wrong.

"I feel like an idiot saying some of the things I did because he proved himself," Volkanovski said.

"Nothing but respect - I thought I was going to break him, I thought he was broken after the third round.

"He's tough, he's durable so credit to him.

With COVID-19 limiting his opportunities Volkanovski said he would consider moving up a division to lightweight.

Former champion American Max Holloway, who he has already beaten twice and Mexican Yair Rodriguez fight in November to determine the new No.1 contender.

"I want to fight so do I move up to lightweight and fight the champion; give me something," Volkanovski said.

"I had 14 months off so I'm thinking I might bring the whole family over and ride out this lockdown thing because it's a mess."

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