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Alexander Volkanovski has had some legendary fights and convincing wins, but one moment trumps them all and he believes defines who he is as a fighter.
It was the third round of a UFC 266 bout between Alexander ‘The Great’ and Brian Ortega when uncharacteristically Volkanovski was in serious trouble of losing his belt.
Ortega had landed a stiff punch on the Australian before jumping on him and sinching in a tight guillotine choke and looked mere seconds away from claiming the featherweight title.
To the shock of commentators, the audience and even Ortega himself, the featherweight GOAT had the resilience to break out of the hold.
If that wasn’t enough, his grit was again displayed later on in the fight when he broke out of a Brian Ortega triangle hold that could’ve easily had him out.
Speaking to SPORTbible Australia, Volkanovski was asked about a moment that defined his legacy with the ‘The Great’ pointing to that particular moment at UFC 266.
He said: “A good definition of what I’m about or who I am is obviously me in that guillotine. It’s a good indicator of what I pride myself on.
“If someone was to find a definition of me, they wouldn’t have to look up a definition, because they can go back and watch that footage of me in that guillotine and be like ‘this guy doesn’t give up’.
“It shows I have a never say die attitude.”
Even 10 months later and his opponent Brian Ortega is still in shock that Volkanovski managed to escape the chokehold.
During a UFC Long Island media day, he said: “I sat there and I looked at that tape over and over again, and I go ‘how in the f*** did this man get out of that choke?’
“I was on top celebrating, I’ll be honest with you.
“I was in there, and I had him in that guillotine, and I was like, ‘I’m about to be a world champ!’ I was just waiting for the tap, and it never came. He got out, and I was like s***, this is a tough motherf*****, and then it was like, he’s on top now. OK, he’s pissed.”
Volkanovski is currently ranked number two in the pound-for-pound rankings just behind Kamaru Usman.
On top of that, he is positioning himself for a shot at the next lightweight champion, with the aim of becoming one of a handful of men to hold two UFC championships at the same time.
His ambitions don’t stop there either.
He told SPORTbible Australia: “I feel like I’m destined for greatness.
“I don’t care about pound-for-pound and all that, I’m just expecting to raise the bar every time I go out there.
“All these statuses that people want to bring up, I plan on claiming them all.”
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