Volkanovski recounts submission scare: 'I'm about to lose the belt'

Alex Bierens de Haan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Alexander Volkanovski turned in a rather dominant performance at UFC 266, but he said Brian Ortega almost stole his featherweight belt midway through Saturday's title fight.

Volkanovski, who retained the championship with a unanimous decision win over Ortega, got caught in a guillotine and then a triangle choke in the third round.

"The Great" said the submission attempts were "as deep as it could get" and that he remembers "making f------ weird noises."

"It was, 'Oh, f---, I'm about to lose the belt' deep," Volkanovski said at the post-fight press conference, according to MMA Fighting. "But the type of human being I am, we talk about me going through adversity and always being prepared and busting my ass and never-give-up attitude and all that shit. That's just exactly what you (saw)."

Volkanovski escaped both submissions and unleashed devastating ground-and-pound to close the round. He took over in the fourth and fifth stanzas and ultimately won by a wide margin on the judges' scorecards, defending his title for the second time.

"I thought that (Ortega) wouldn't get me that deep. But he did," Volkanovski said. "Credit to him. He made me really dig deep to get out of there. But again, I've (shown) time and time again that I always dig deep. That's what champions are made of."

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Volkanovski recounts submission scare: 'I'm about to lose the belt'
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