Brian Ortega

T-City

USA

Out
Injury Face
Est. Return 6/1/2022
Possible matchup with Yair Rodriguez
FeatherweightUFC
Out
February 16, 2022
Ortega (face) is being targeted for a featherweight matchup against Yair Rodriguez "in the future" according to MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.
ANALYSIS
Ortega finds himself at a bit of a crossroads in the division, as he's impressively handled most contenders that have been put in front of him, with the exception of the top-2 -- Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski. In fact, Ortega is currently serving a six-month medical suspension due to facial injuries suffered in the Volkanovski fight last September in which he ate 214 significant strikes. That's nothing compared to the 290 significant strikes he ate from Holloway in just four rounds, and he'll now face another high-volume striker in Rodriguez, who averages 4.65 significant strikes landed per minute. On the bright side, Rodriguez defends takedowns at a very average 60 percent clip, so Ortega might have a better shot at working his grappling in this proposed matchup. That factor will be especially key given Ortega will be giving up three inches in height and two inches in reach.
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Receives medical suspension
FeatherweightUFC
Out
September 28, 2021
Ortega is facing a six-month medical suspension, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Ortega came up just short of taking down Alexander Volkanovski last weekend. He will need clearance from an ophthalmologist for a right orbital blowout fracture or be unable to fight again until March 25, 2022.
Historic effort in defeat
FeatherweightUFC
Out
September 25, 2021
Ortega came up short in his quest for the UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (46-49, 45-50, 44-50) at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Ortega isn't leaving with UFC gold, but he still he put on one of the most historic performances in recent memory. It would be a shame if he wasn't rewarded with a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for his efforts (later confirmed by UFC President Dana White). Ortega was pounded on the feet by Volkanovski for the duration of the fight. That didn't stop "T-City" from nearly pulling off a miraculous submission, not once, but twice in Round 3. He clamped on both a guillotine and triangle choke and squeezed with all his might, but the champion somehow managed to slip out both times. Ortega had to literally be lifted to his stool by his corner at the end of a round and survive multiple visits from the cage side doctor in order to see the final bell. It won't make Ortega feel any better, but this is the rare instance in which a fighter raised his stock in defeat. The issue for Ortega is that it was a title fight, and there is nowhere to go but down from here. Ortega now has two career losses. They have come to Volkanovski and Max Holloway, the two best featherweights on the planet, both in UFC Featherweight Championship bouts.
Hoping to win featherweight belt
FeatherweightUFC
Out
June 9, 2021
Ortega is expected to take on Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title at UFC 266 on Sept. 4, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Ortega was supposed to go for the featherweight belt against Volkanovski back at UFC 260 in March, but Volkanovski was unable to fight due to COVID-19. Now Ortega will go for his second crack at the featherweight title in September after falling short against Max Holloway back in 2018.
Will coach TUF opposite Volkanovski
FeatherweightUFC
Out
April 19, 2021
Ortega will serve as a coach on season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter against Alexander Volkanovski, and will afterwards take on Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
The two were originally scheduled to throw down at UFC 260 on March 27, but the fight had to be cancelled after Volkanovski came down with a case of COVID-19. He appears to be doing well, however, with the show set to begin filming in late-April. While Ortega and Volkanovski don't have an official date set yet, it is tradition for the two coaches to face off at the conclusion of the show. It's the show's first season since the UFC signed a TV deal with ESPN, and will feature bantamweights and middleweights (despite having featherweight coaches). Ortega had been as high as a (+170) betting underdog for their first proposed title fight, so look for something roughly similar this time around.
Won't face Volkanovski at UFC 260
FeatherweightUFC
Out
March 20, 2021
Ortega and Alexander Volkanovski won't fight for the featherweight title March 27 at UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski announced via his personal Twitter account that he produced a positive test for COVID-19, resulting in the cancelation. The bout is expected to be rescheduled for an unspecified later date.