The silent killer known as Brian Ortega has not made many appearances in the media lately in the wake of his 2nd title opportunity against reigning champ, Alexander Volkanovski. Despite wanting his hands to do the talking, Ortega would let some words fly in a rare and recent interview.
No Hair? No Problem.
Ortega would capture the eyes of many last October. And no, we’re not talking about him cutting off his long mane of hair for charity. ‘T-City’ would build perform in absolute thriller in his headliner against ‘The Korean Zombie,’ Chan Sung Jung.
Ortega would unlock his inner ‘Negan’ against ‘The Korean Zombie’ bashing him with a multitude of elbows and burying Jung over the course of the fight. Ortega would do this for 5 straight rounds to earn a dominant unanimous decision victory, leaving the door open for title contention.
A New Challenge
The champ patiently waiting for a new contender to emerge, especially after fighting Max Holloway twice, was excited for a new challenge. And a bit impressed as well.
Finally we have some direction in this division, get in there and take that #1 spot….that’s all I wanted!! #ufcfightisland6— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) October 18, 2020
The two would later be booked to fight in the 4th title fight in the UFC’s version of ‘March Madness’ taking the co-headliner slot at UFC 260 on March 27th, under Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2.
Volkanovski, being in the opposite corner, has been very vocal in promoting the UFC 260 co-main event. The Aussie said he’s going to put an unmatched pace on Ortega and plans on getting a middle-round finish.
This prediction wouldn’t exactly faze the Torrance California native. In a rare interview with LA Times En Espanol, Ortega, would speak out on his opponent’s antics in the media.
“In his position, he has try to sell the fight.” Ortega said. “As a champion, he doesn’t have much of a voice. This is his way of adding some salsa to his tacos. But, unfortunately this [expletive] taco is bad.”
Moving away from tacos and salsa, the #2 ranked contender in the world would be asked about a potential rematch with Max Holloway and spoiling the awaited trilogy between the former champ and the current champion.
“Look at it this way. The three of us are all on top, Holloway, Volkanovski and me. All three of us are going to fight again. I don’t see any of us going anywhere. The rest of the people [featherweights] can’t reach us. Those who have tried to make it to the top, we knock them down. I have knocked them down, Holloway has knocked them down, Volkanovski has knocked them down.
“The three of us are fighting at the top of the mountain. What’s going to happen? The fans will see. I could fight against Holloway [after Volkanovski] or should Volkanovski win, he fights against Holloway. No matter who we fight, we’re not going anywhere.”
Running It Back
Having seemingly cemented his spot among the division’s highly elite, Ortega would go on to express what a story him vs. Holloway would be, a second time around.
“It’s got to happen.” Ortega answered, when asked about a Holloway rematch. ” I can’t finish my career without fighting him again. I went into this sport to fight the best, not to get an easy paycheck. — These people [Holloway] bring out the best version of you. You learn more about yourself as a person, as an athlete. Win or lose, you get better. It’s about the lessons you take with you.”
The Beat Of A Mexican Heart
The near undefeated Latino would go on to lose his ‘0’ to Holloway in his first title bout at UFC 232 in December 2018. The somewhat lopsided battle would be called off, with the doctors deeming Ortega not able to continue due to the damage taken. The toughest test in his career thus far helped him define him not just as a fighter but as a human being.
“He showed me the level of heart I have in a fight. When all goes bad, I keep fighting. When everything goes bad, when my nose breaks, my hand breaks… with everything that happened, my mind still didn’t break, I didn’t give up. You’re going to have kill me to win. That’s a part of who I am.”
Win or lose, come March 27th, the Chicano believes his rematch with the former Hawaiian king is inevitable.