ALEX Volkanovski isn't the type to stay mad at someone for too long. In the octagon, he doesn't often need too.
You can ask Jamie Mullarkey, the Central Coast slugger who came up against the UFC featherweight champ in 2016. Volkanovski ended it by crushing one-punch KO just over three minutes into round one.
The irony? The pair are now great mates and training partners, with Mullarkey carving out his own UFC career. Prior to the bout though, Volkanovski's coach Joe Lopez hadn't seen his long-time charge that off with an opponent.
"It's funny, the last guy that he really got upset with was Jamie Mullarkey and he knocked him out in the first round," Lopez said.
"He's training with us now and is a really good friend of ours. Most of the time it happens after the fight, you become friends. Sometimes you don't."
The latter certainly seems more likely ahead of Volkanovski's upcoming bout with American Brian Ortega, with the build-up acrimonious to say the least.
The animosity stems from their time head-to-head as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, a lead-in to their title bout at UFC 266 on Sunday week.
Unlike some of Ortega's coaching team, Lopez didn't throw himself in the thick of the verbal, but he says it's left his protege extra primed to make the second defence of his title.
"I never take anything personally, to me it's just a game, like a game of football, you shake hands at the end and that's it," Lopez said.
"Brian and his team were always very respectful towards me and I was respectful back to them. I think what got Alex riled up, [Ortega] has this persona he wants to put out there.
"He wants to be Mr. Nice Guy that's there for everyone but he was always late, up to an hour, so the guys would have to sit around for an hour waiting. It meant they got home an hour later, it meant the [film] crew had to stay an hour late as well.
"They'd just end up sitting around getting pissed off with him when it's supposed to be all about the fighters. Everyone's different in how they go about things, but I think that's what really pissed Alex off."
Team Volkanovski ultimately got the last laugh, overturning a 0-4 deficit to get four fighters into the finale - one as an injury replacement.
It was an eye-opening experience for coach Lopez, though he feels the early adversity was what showed the true character of the team they selected.
"[The start] was pretty heartbreaking," Lopez admitted.
"We we only had the guys for a week and then went into the first four fights. We didn't really know the guys too well and then we had our first two picks go down.
"We just went back and reminded them that's what they were there for, to follow their dreams. Even those guys who'd lost, we said 'it's the fight game, someone could get hurt and you'll be the next in line'. They became tighter for it I think.
"They all wanted to help each other, they didn't want the other guys to lose and the team came together. That was the important thing, we wanted a team of guys that would work together.
"We wanted that team environment so we could all get to the same place in the end."
What the cameras didn't reveal, was the hours and hours Lopez and Volkanovski got to spend on their own preparation at the famed UFC Apex Centre.
Time on the mat with Team Volkanovski coach, world-renowned grappler Craig Jones, proved key in preparation for the bout with jiu-jitsu black belt Ortega.
"It was really good being amongst it, training the guys and doing our own training afterwards," Lopez said.
"Brian's strength is obviously jiu-jitsu and we're pretty fortunate to have Craig Jones there who's one of the best grapplers in the world. We're confident, whatever submissions Brian wants to throw out, we're ready for it.
"As far as striking, I think Alex was always going to be the superior striker, even though Brian's improved a lot. He's definitely not the Brian that Max [Holloway] fought [in 2018].
"He's not just going to walk forward and take a shot to give one back. He's using a lot more skill so it'll be interesting, but Alex is just going to be too strong and too fast."