Brian Ortega has set himself up nicely in the featherweight division, is coming off an astounding first-round victory over former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 in Las Vegas. Ortega put on an impressive striking display and becomes the first man to finish Edgar in the Octagon. With the win, Ortega who’s now a no.1 contender to take on champion Max Holloway at UFC 226 on July 7.
Ortega says to fight for the title is like a dream come true, but he’s still shocked when UFC announced a featherweight title fight against Holloway.
“I’m ready,” Ortega told reporters Thursday at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, per MMA Junkie’s Fernanda Prates and John Morgan. “How can I say it, man? This is something that, for the longest time, was just a vision. Now it’s actually a plan. We’re actually starting training camp for it, and it’s still surreal. It’s like, ‘Holy (expletive), I got the shot.’”
Ortega added he went all the way undefeated to a title shot, so for him, a belt is just an extra so he wouldn’t stress about losing a fight.
Holloway will be defending his featherweight championship for the second time and is currently riding a 12-fight win streak dating to 2013.
“You have two guys that are down to fight,” Ortega said. “He’s not a point-scorer. I’m not a point-scorer. We want to get in there and, at the end of the day, we want to finish each other. Which means we’ve got to hurt each other. For me, that makes the best kind of fights, when you’ve got two guys who really are going for it. This guy’s the champ, and he still goes for it.
“That says a lot. You see a lot of guys, they earn their way to the championship, and they play it safe to keep it. He’s going all in. I’m all in. I’ve always been all in. If I ever become champ, I’m still going to be all in. I just think that makes great chemistry for crazy fights.”
UFC 226 is set to take place on July 7 in Las Vegas, with the main event features a heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Meanwhile, Holloway and Ortega will clash in the co-main event for featherweight title bout.