- Brian Ortega reflected on his first UFC loss ahead of his upcoming fight
- “T-City” confessed that he laid back a bit and it prompted him to work on his game
Brian Ortega’s pro MMA career is unique. Barring the no contest in his UFC debut against Mike de la Torre in 2014, “T-City” has gone unbeaten for four straight years. However, things took a huge turn when he tasted his first-ever UFC defeat at the hands of Max Holloway.
Adding insult to the injury, Ortega’s first loss took place during his first shot at UFC gold as well. As he reflects on it, Ortega is certain he learned his lessons.
Reality hit Ortega hard
According to Ortega, the impressive winning streak got him feeling relaxed and confident that he decided to pay his hard work by enjoying life. By doing so, he let himself go a little bit and when he return to fighting, that’s when he knew he wasn’t the same fighter anymore.
“It happened to me,” Ortega told Fight Nation with Jimmy Smith. “It literally happened to me — I want to say for two years. And I was winning, I would fight and I would win, and I was just like, ‘Alright, cool. My job is done. Let me go back to life. I want to go eat Jack In The Box, I want to go eat this, I want to go on vacation, I want to go surfing, I want to be a beach bum.’
“I would go back to enjoying my life as I called it and it wasn’t until I lost then it made me reassess everything,” he continued. “When I reassessed everything is when I said, ‘Dude, I f****** suck. Like, I suck. I thought I was good because I was winning but then these guys at the top, they’re a different level. They’re doing other things. What’re they doing? What am I missing? I have the skills to be a UFC fighter but I don’t have the skills nor the discipline or consistency to be at the top. And if I gotta do that, I gotta change a lot of things about my life.’”
"When I reassessed everything that's when I said 'dude, I f**king suck.'"
Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) recalls the loss that forced him to change his lifestyle in order to be an elite UFC fighter.
⬇️ Brian's FULL interview w/ @jimmysmithmma out now!https://t.co/OCiNFAeLPh pic.twitter.com/9hogUeAAjZ
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) July 12, 2022
Working his way back
Two years after the devastating defeat, Ortega worked on his game, adding wresting into his arsenal. Eventually, he found himself back to his winning ways after taking the Korean Zombie to a striking clinic, winning via unanimous decision.
“After that [Holloway loss], I said, ‘Oh, wow, there’s — wrestling exists. Muay Thai exists,’” Ortega explained. “I know it sounds stupid, but I had no idea none of this existed. I was training in a garage. I would just hit the bag, do a couple mitts, lift some weights, wake up. Not have no nutrition, pre-workout for breakfast. All the way until the title, that’s what people don’t understand.”
The win saw “T-City” earning another crack at the title but sadly, he lost once again. This time against reigning 145-pound champion Alexander Volkanovski. Looking to bounce back, Ortega will hope to seal a decisive victory over Yair Rodriguez in their main even clash at UFC Long Island. Let’s see how things will play out for “T-City.”