The much-anticipated Featherweight title fight between division king, Max Holloway, and Brian Ortega — which was set to go down at UFC 226 this past summer -- was delayed after “Blessed” was forced out of the fight a few days due to health issues.
As a result, the 145-pound title fight was re-booked to go down this Saturday night (Dec. 8, 2018) at UFC 231 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And despite the fact Holloway is confident his issues are behind him, Ortega still has a small fear in him that the fight can be taken from him at any moment once again.
“Small part. Because we know that usually when Max starts cutting weight, that’s where that issue always comes up, you know? And we are worried a little bit, but, I mean I’m doing my part,” said Ortega on a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
It’s because of that fear that “T-City” says he hasn’t been too emotionally attached with the idea of fighting Holloway, saying he is simply preparing his mind and body to fight somebody at UFC 231.
“Yeah. Emotionally haven't really invested myself in it anymore, especially since the last one. I’ve kind of just detached myself and just have to be ready for whatever. The way I put is that I am just going to fight for a title no matter who it is now. I am just going to get ready,” he added.
Indeed, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pegged Renato Moicano as a backup should anything forbid either Max or Brian from competing Saturday night, which puts Ortega’s mind somewhat at peace.
“The fact that there is going to be another fight absolutely,” he added while saying fighting and defeating Holloway is the ultimate goal. “But that is the ultimate feeling. When you see all these promo videos and everything, you see he is the man. And that is the guy you have to take out to win the belt.”
Holloway has proven to be the undisputed king of the 145-pound weight class over the past few years, defeating Jose Aldo to win the title and then defending it against “Junior” a few months later. In fact, “Blessed” hasn’t tasted defeat since 2014, winning an impressive 12 bouts in a row against a who’s who of competition.
Now, he’ll look to keep it going by handing Ortega his first-ever loss in mixed martial arts (MMA). A tough task to say the least.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 231 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 231: ‘Holloway vs Ortega’ click here.