Brian Ortega hopes he can get a second chance against reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski.
At UFC 266 in Sept. 2021, Volkanovski and Ortega met in the Octagon after a season coaching opposite each other on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). The extended duration of time ahead of the bout led to a rivalry building much more than was originally anticipated when booked.
In the end, Volkanovski largely dominated his 31-year-old counterpart en route to a unanimous decision victory (watch highlights), but it didn’t come without an impossibly tight guillotine nearly finishing him in round three.
“I would love that personally because I feel like from what the world’s seeing is he’s won the belt, he’s defended the belt, and the one person that gave him the hardest time was me,” Ortega told Inside Fighting (h/t MMA Junkie). “[I] put him in the most danger he’s ever been in his career.
“I just put him in the most danger and people noticed that, people saw,” he continued. “I’m just a deadly opponent for him. Obviously, I’m always gonna train to win, to fight this guy and beat this guy. I believe I have the tools and capabilities to do so if I play my cards right. So, it’s all about seeing how I can play my cards right and going in there and finishing this man.”
Ortega hasn’t fought since his encounter with Volkanovski in Las Vegas, Nevada, but that changes this weekend (Sat., July 16, 2022) at UFC Long Island. Making his fifth main event appearance, the two-time title challenger looks to get back in the win column by defeating Yair Rodriguez.
Regardless of the performance he puts on in a potential victory, “T-City” isn’t so sure a title shot would be in his immediate future after coming up short in two of his last four fights.
“It’s hard for me to decide, honestly,” Ortega said. “I could see a lot of people lately be like, ‘This guy, you already got two shots.’ So at this point, it ain’t my job anymore. I need to do my job and fight and win and basically see where politics and how this s—t goes out.”
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