Brian Ortega praises Ilia Topuria, but thinks Alexander Volkanovski looked off at UFC 298

MEXICO CITY – Brian Ortega thinks Alexander Volkanovski looked off at UFC 298.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) lost his featherweight title to Ilia Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) by second-round knockout this past Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Although all three judges awarded Volkanovski Round 1, Ortega questions Volkanovski’s movement and reactions in the fight.

“Props to Ilia. He won. That was impressive – it was a very, very devastating KO he got,” Ortega told reporters during Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 237 media day. “For Volk, I’m trying to look at it from both perspectives. Either Topuria’s game plan was really good, staying calm, moving back, throwing power punches … and then Volk, I don’t know. To me, it didn’t seem like the same Volk, right?

“Seeing him and being in front of him (in 2021), I’m like, you are moving different. But obviously, you adjust for every opponent that you have, so who knows. But I am curious to see what’s going to happen now in the featherweight division.”

Ortega (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) runs things back with Yair Rodriguez (18-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 237 (ESPN+) headliner at Mexico City Arena.

Topuria doubled down on his dismissal of Ortega, Rodriguez, and Max Holloway as potential title challengers, but Ortega isn’t putting too much stock into that anymore.

“I’m not sure, man,” Ortega said. “My answer to that is always ‘We’ll see.'”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 237.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie