Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has deed the crushed moving successful Las Vegas, declaring helium can't hold to unopen down rival Brian Ortega.
Volkanovski and his squad got successful connected Saturday, and entered the bubble connected Tuesday up of media, weigh-ins and different obligations.
"It's going to beryllium a precise engaged week, but bring it on. I bask the process, I haven't been capable to bash each of this for implicit a year," helium told Wide World of Sports.
"You astir apt don't perceive a batch of fighters accidental they're enjoying the media broadside of things, but I am. It lets maine cognize we're warring this weekend, we're defending that loop - I'm conscionable taking it each in."
This combat was primitively acceptable to instrumentality spot successful March, before Volkanovski tested affirmative for COVID, penning disconnected weeks and months of preparation.
"It sucks - each the hard enactment that goes into it, clip distant from your family, there's a batch that goes successful to it for not lone maine but my team, my coaches, my family," Volkanovski said.
"It was decidedly hard but mentally you archer yourself that these things hap and you request to judge it. Let's not outcry astir it and deliberation it's the extremity of the world.
"It wasn't meant to be, you person to judge these things."
The rivalry was past amplified by a stint arsenic opposing coaches connected the latest play of The Ultimate Fighter, wherever the 2 butted heads. Volkanovski went arsenic acold arsenic to telephone Ortega a 'spoiled brat'.
But now, six months connected from their archetypal date, they volition yet get their hands connected 1 another.
"This 1 volition beryllium adjacent sweeter. You don't usually walk this overmuch clip with your opponent. I'm looking guardant to getting successful determination and conscionable showing him what I told him. That loop isn't going anywhere, I told him that."
Volkanovski watched The Ultimate Fighter backmost aft it aired, and said that each small verbal jab from Ortega passim the amusement conscionable motivated him adjacent more.
"You extremity up proceeding each these things, and not lone that, you larn a batch astir him arsenic well, and his grooming proposal and his country advice.
"I conscionable deliberation he's a douchebag, you cognize what I mean? While we were going done the process determination were things that annoyed maine and past watching the amusement and proceeding him successful interviews conscionable made maine privation to spell retired determination adjacent much and enactment a beating connected this bloke."
The 32-year-old goes into this combat arsenic a favourite, but plentifulness are giving the challenger a chance. It's a dynamic that the Aussie is utilized to aft being written disconnected by galore successful his past fewer fights, lone for each to extremity the aforesaid way, with his manus being raised.
"I'm alert he's dangerous, but we hole for these things and past we nullify that," Volkanovski said.
"You've seen maine bash this clip and clip again. How galore times person radical gone 'how's helium gonna woody with this, how's helium gonna woody with that?' And past I wholly unopen them down.
"We're excessively prepared, and I judge we're up of the crippled and we've shown that."
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You could marque an statement the Australian is the champion pound-for-pound combatant successful the UFC astatine the moment, rattling disconnected consecutive wins against Max Holloway, who galore see the GOAT of the division.
Despite this, and different awesome wins successful what has been an undefeated vocation successful the UFC, radical inactive look to poke holes successful his crippled - not that helium cares.
"They're going to accidental that each the time, but I usage it arsenic fuel, it motivates me. Let them hate, fto them doubt. Obviously I'm not the underdog, but I've been the underdog my full life," helium said.
"People ne'er thought I'd marque it to wherever I am, but however galore times person I proved them wrong? I emotion it."
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