UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega's annoyance with one another has seemingly reached a boiling point ahead of UFC 266 this Saturday night.
During the pre-fight press conference for the event on Thursday, Volkanovski let Ortega have it during their staredown about his past use of performance-enhancing drugs. Ortega tested positive for drostanolone after his UFC debut against Mike De La Torre at UFC on FOX 12 in July 2014, leading to a nine-month suspension and the fight being overturned to a no contest.
Volkanovski spoke with ESPN's Brett Okamoto after the press conference to clarify why he made those comments to Ortega and why his past with PED's bothers him.
"I didn't even know about that," Volkanvoski said of Ortega's failed 2014 drug test. "I don't even know how that was under wraps for so long. How isn't that out there? These people should pay the consequences of doing shit like that and they don't. After that, he lost a fair bit of my respect. I've worked my ass off from day one, no shortcuts to get to where I am. Talent only gets you so far. He shows me that he takes shortcuts. He's proved that, and I just want to let him know, I know that now. So people that take shortcuts, cheat and do all that shit, I'm pretty vocal sometimes when I hear that stuff. Even the same with T.J. Dillashaw, I said something about it. I'm vocal about it. For some reason, it's not out there and it should be. If anyone cheats, their name should be run through the dirt."