Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski wants to have a word with cageside commentators Jon Anik and Michael Bisping so that they can answer for their “embarrassing” commentary at UFC 251, which appeared to favor former 145-pound titleholder Max Holloway.
Volkanovski defeated the Hawaiian in a very close decision, one that did not sit well with UFC President Dana White.
“I don’t wanna bring it up, but we were just watching that, because we obviously talk about the bias going into even the Ortega match … but there was a bit of a bias,” Volkanovski told ESPN (transcribed by MMA News). “Damn, it’s hard to watch that second Max fight with how bad they were. Like, I need to say something to these guys because that is pretty bad… We just watched that and we were just laughing, I was like, ‘Are they serious or what?’ It was pretty incredible. Not that it wasn’t close, obviously it was close, but I mean, these guys don’t help my situation one bit. You know, it was pretty embarrassing on their behalf. They sort of tried to do that again, I feel, to Ortega. It’s like Americans against the Aussies.”
One of those Americans is long-time referee Herb Dean, who gave a third-round coffee break to Brian Ortega during the UFC 266 main event last September. According to Volkanovski, “T-City’s” inability to function should have been ruled a technical knockout.
“Whether they didn’t like it and they’re against me because they want that belt in America, I don’t know what it is,” Volkanovski continued. “I feel like there was still a bias even when you got the doctors and the refs going above and beyond to give a favor to my opponent. It’s not fair, obviously. [Ortega] was done… He couldn’t get up, I think he thought the fight was over, he thought that the ref stopped it. He was laying down because he was that thrashed… You’re not allowed to get lifted off the stool, and lifted to the stool, which was already showing you that it was a TKO.”
“The fact that he was wobbling and answering questions wrong, it obviously should have been stopped, even if Herb Dean is saying now that it wasn’t that he was that rocked, he was just tired,” Volkanovski said. “He made it public that he thought Ortega was more tired and that’s what it was. So he pretty much just admitted that he wanted to give him a minute rest, which is just like, mate, we talk about a bias against me, it’s pretty clear. I don’t wanna throw shade but at the end of the day, it looks like there’s certain people in the system against me. It ain’t gonna stop me.”
Volkanovski (23-1) is expected to face the winner of Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez, who go to war for the next featherweight title shot at the promotion’s upcoming “Fight Night” event on Nov. 13 in Las Vegas.
Commentators for that event have yet to be revealed.