UFC 266 had spectacular fights, one of them being the featherweight bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. Volkanovski gained a unanimous decision win, but at one point he was caught in an extremely deep Guillotine Choke.
HUGE SCENES HERE. 🤯
Ortega drops Volkanovski and JUMPS ON THE NECK! #UFC266 pic.twitter.com/cHV7MEuIBw
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 26, 2021
Volkanovski miraculously escaped it… But how?
He explained it in his post-fight interview, emphasizing that he, too, at one point thought it was all over:
It was tight, it was deep. The space I was trying to make… I usually make that space before he’s anywhere near that deep. But credit to him and how quickly he can wrap up the neck and legs, suck his hips right in on your belly. The grips he has, the arch he’s got, the hips are in, the legs where they are positioned and locking my arms…
I was trying to make space, obviously push on his hips, push on his hand to make a bit of space. Especially once I realized that I couldn’t get the hips up, I needed to make a little bit of space by pulling on the arm. I think that was probably the last little bit that held me.
However, things started getting blurry for him really quickly:
I felt it, it went from almost going different colors and slowing down to like, sh*t this blood choke’s deep. And I’m going to be honest, I could sit here and be like: “Ahh, I was never in trouble”, but that’s not me, I’ve got to be real here. It was close, and it was like: “Oh sh*t, things are starting to change, this must mean that I’m close to going out.”
So that just made me think fu*k this, I’m doing something.” So I ended up pulling on that arm and shifting it, I made a little bit of space and then everything cleared up.
And I ended up just getting my chin in. And by then, he knows this position, he’s got it down pat, so he would have known as soon as I adjusted that arm a little bit and he would have felt a little bit of space, he probably started realizing that I was getting my chin out and he would have known that it was gone, so he just tried to improve his position.