Brian Ortega will make his first trip to the Octagon in over 670 days later tonight (Sat., Oct. 17, 2020) at UFC Fight Island 6 live on ESPN+ from inside Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., when “T-City” locks horns with perennial featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung in the main event.
Needless to say, this is a massive fight for Ortega. Having not competed since a TKO loss to Max Holloway back in December 2018 he needs to re-establish himself at 145 pounds if he wants to land another shot at UFC gold. The promotion still slotted Ortega into this main event after such a long layoff so it’s clear they value him as a top contender in the division.
Ortega, who has produced a 6-1 (1 NC) record inside of the Octagon since his debut back in 2014, believes he’s finally in the right state of mind to return to fighting, pour his heart and soul back into the game, and recapture the magic he showed just a few years ago.
“Before I didn’t feel free,” Ortega told reporters earlier this week (via MMA Fighting). “Now with everything that happened I feel free. I feel happy. For me, ultimately, that’s why I joined this because that’s what MMA made me feel like.
“I used to fight for free. You know. 50 bucks, 100 bucks. But I loved it. When I would go in there I would feel this way. And then somewhere along the lines I lost it. And now I got it back.
“That was a big victory for me. To look at my team and say I’m f—king happy with what we’re doing, with how we’re living, and with how we’re reacting to each other, I’m free again.”
Unfortunately for Ortega, his awaited return with come against the man known as “Korean Zombie.” Not only is Jung one of the most difficult fighters to stop at 145 pounds, but he’s been on an absolute tear since returning from mandatory military service three years ago. In total, Jung has gone 3-1 since his return with finishes over Frankie Edgar, Renato Moicano, and Dennis Bermudez.
Ortega, who is entering just his third UFC main event, will certainly have his hands full. But even though “T-City” is coming off a massive layoff that would bury most fighters, there’s something different about his attitude and focus heading into this main event clash with “Korean Zombie.”
Maybe it’s the freshly shaved head or settled beef with Jung. Ortega is back and ready to pick up where he left off in the UFC’s jam-packed featherweight division.
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