Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is great at most, if not all, aspects of MMA. He is 22-1, a dominant champion, and still in his prime at the age of 32. His record is impressive but his fight stats might be more impressive.
Volkanovski has a 3x positive strike differential; more specifically, he, on average, lands 6 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.3. He connects with a 55% accuracy while defending 60% of his opponent’s strike attempts. His technique is not without power, Volkanovski has 11 knockout wins in his career. While efficient and tactical on the feet, Volkanovski can also grapple and wrestle when needed. He averages 2.1 takedowns per fight with a 34% accuracy and defends 72% of takedown attempts. Volk’s striking numbers and grappling stats tell the same story – he is efficient offensively and evasive defensively. That combination creates a dangerous and “great” champion.
Brian “T-City” Ortega also only has one loss on his record, but seven fewer wins than Volkanovski. Once seen as a submission specialist with minimal striking, Ortega has opened some of his critics’ eyes. He has three knockout and seven submission wins. While striking, Ortega often has a lower volume than his opponents as he looks to counter and land big. He averages 4.3 significant strikes per minute with a 38% accuracy while absorbing 6.3. Those numbers are slightly skewed because of his early career strategy.
In his most recent fight, “T-City” threw an impressive 214 total strikes, 212 were deemed significant, and he landed 59% of his attempts. His opponent only landed 62 of his 163 attempts before losing to Ortega via decision. Ortega has improved on the feet but his submission game is his specialty. He averages less than a takedown and only one submission per fight. The numbers are lower than expected because once the fight gets to the ground, it’s often just a matter of minutes before Ortega secures a submission for the win.
Volkanovski vs. Ortega analysis
Striker vs grappler is an oversimplification for this fight. Volkanovski is primarily a striker and Ortega is historically a grappler and submission specialist; however, the champion and #1 contender are much more well-rounded.
As the numbers show, Volkanovski is a strong offensive and defensive wrestler to go along with his tactical and powerful striking. Meanwhile, Ortega has improved immensely on the feet, to the point of winning striking battles against the striking specialist. This is going to be a banger of a fight wherever it goes.
How to watch Volkanovski vs. Ortega
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega is this Saturday’s UFC 266 main event. The only way to watch UFC 266 live in the United States is by ordering on ESPN+ here.
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Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.