ABU DHABI – If all goes according to the program UFC president Dana White laid out ahead of Saturday’s function, Brian Ortega has penciled himself in as the up coming featherweight title challenger.
At UFC on ESPN+ 38, Ortega (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) stepped into the cage for the very first time in 22 months. In what White known as a No. 1 contender battle, Ortega dominated “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung Jung (16-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC), en route to a unanimous choice (50-45, 50-45, 50-45).
“It felt excellent to come back and have confidence in my team with every little thing we’ve been performing tricky to do and come out here and demonstrate the environment,” Ortega advised MMA Junkie at the put up-battle news convention. “… I realized I could do that when I actually trapped to a game plan and not get emotional like I employed to. Of class, male. I have been functioning with these fellas for a when now. Whilst anyone experienced been seeing the UFC and everything, I type of disappeared from the face of the earth. I was in the frickin’ dungeon down there just grinding absent, searching at these fights and likely, ‘Don’t be concerned. I’m going to have my time.’”
All through his time away from the in-cage motion, Ortega held a shut eye on all of the featherweight division’s happenings. Present UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski two times defeat Max Holloway, the person who handed Ortega his very first UFC decline 22 months back.
“I viewed his fights – both equally of his fights with Max,” Ortega mentioned, of Volkanovski. “Obviously, after that, I experienced to check out that. (He’s) extremely methodical, incredibly complex with the way he approached every thing.”
All signs point toward him staying the future challenger for Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9- UFC), but Ortega hasn’t forgotten about the previous winner Holloway (21-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC), both.
“I reported this in the commencing, in the incredibly, pretty beginning when the struggle was initially set up: ‘We will fulfill again.’ He’s going to keep at the top rated,” Ortega claimed. “He’s not just a man that’s likely to fall right off the bat and just spiral down his vocation. I’m not a dude which is heading to just slide off like that. Plainly, tonight, I confirmed the planet that is not me.
“He’s likely to continue to be on top. I’m heading to be on the major. Volkanovski’s heading to be on the top. Consider me. We’re likely to have some rounds with all of us. We’re likely to preserve you fellas entertained.”
The to start with fight in opposition to Holloway headlined UFC 231 in December 2018. In a quite a single-sided affair, Holloway struck his way into a dominating opening 20 minutes. The battle was stopped in involving the fourth and fifth rounds, with Holloway successful by TKO by using retirement.
If they battle again, Ortega predicts a diverse consequence.
“It would just seem various,” Ortega claimed. “I’m not here to advertise anything and say this or that. I just know I’m a greater fighter than I was when I fought him and it would go a lot unique.”
UFC on ESPN+ 38 took put Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The event streamed on ESPN+.