Alexander Volkanovski advanced in the pound for pound UFC rankings following the tremendous performance he put on against Brian Ortega.
The Macedonian/Australian was winning the whole fight but was still very very close to losing the fight – particularly during two submission attempts a triangle and a mounted guillotine.
“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).”
Now let’s get into specifics. Credit to Ortega for getting his hand under the jaw right off the bat on this attempt:
But Volkanovski actually was defending the whole time. His concern appeared to be getting Ortega out of the mount.
Volkanovski’s right hand seemed to be combating the mount and not the guillotine while the left is obstructed from view – likely hand fighting. This situation is one where MMA gloves considerably hindered Ortega.
It’s actually the hand fighting that likely saved Volkanovski.
While a lot of the people were paying attention to the erratic leg movements Volkanovski was making – it’s very likely that he was instead trying an erratic looking but effective mount escape. Here’s a good example:
One other contributing factor in this occasion is the fact that Volk now sports a freshly shaved head. And sure if you’ve never done jiu jitsu you might not be aware of it, but a neatly shaved head definitely doesn’t hurt your submission escape game. Volkanovski even went and confirmed as much:
— Laura Sanko (@laura_sanko) September 26, 2021
Volkanovski went on to recover half guard and quickly move past the bjj.
And as far as triangle goes: