It was already clear before the UFC 266 press conference that featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski didn’t like Brian Ortega. But when he finds himself face to face with his opposing coach on The Ultimate Fighter 29Volkanovski took things up a notch by drawing attention to Ortega’s past with performance enhancing drugs.
UFC president Dana White had to keep an arm over the two fighters during the press conference as they chewed each other. In the middle of the exchange, Volkanovsky said, “I didn’t know you broke. This shit doesn’t suit me. You don’t deserve to be here. Buddy, you’re cheating on drugs.
Volkanovski was referring to Ortega’s positive drug test in 2014 that nullified a UFC submission victory over FOX 12 in a non-contest after testing positive for the well-known steroid drostanolone. Ortega was suspended for nine months and then apologized for taking the PED before the event.
On the dais at the press conference, Volkanovski was less direct with Ortega, who was mostly silent as the UFC champion called him “unprofessional”, adding that he saw a “weakness” in the title challenger.
“What bothers me the most is the lack of professionalism,” Volkanovski said. “I have worked hard all my life, especially in this career. This is how I got this belt. And he does it halfway, arrives late in training. You name it.
“Obviously, showing weakness a few years ago, bursting out, producing, you know what I mean?” Shit like that. This shit annoys me. It’s unprofessional, and I’m not about this shit. “
When Ortega attempted to defend himself, it encouraged the already passionate Volkanovsky to cut him off.
“Dude, ever since I was told you jumped, I had no idea,” he said. “Since I was told, that’s all. I’m finished. This shit doesn’t hold me up.
“You’re done, aren’t you?” Don’t do anything about it, though, ”Ortega replied.
Volkanovski has repeatedly fired Ortega since their time together on TUF 29, which he wore when members of his team defeated opponents from Ortega to earn places in both installments of the reality show tournament final.
Ortega expressed confusion over how things got so personal, but on Thursday he said it didn’t matter how seriously he was taken.
“I’m already here,” he said. “I’m going to share the octagon with him whether he likes it or not.”
“He deserves to be here, I’ll give him that,” Volkanovsky replied. “But he doesn’t take the belt. He doesn’t deserve it.