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UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit - Idiot's Guide Preview to Diego Brandao vs Brian Ortega

The featherweights keep the adrenaline pumping in this high octane bout between Diego Brandao and Brian Ortega for UFC 195 in Vegas.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Brandão tries to entertain with his brand of crazy against Brian Ortega this January 2, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Match Up

Featherweight Diego Brandão 20-10 vs. Brian Ortega 9-0-1 NC

The Odds

Featherweight Diego Brandão +175 vs. Brian Ortega -210

3 Things You Should Know

1. With a clean 2-0 record in his last two, Brandão hasn't ditched the crazy in favor of craft, but he's keeping himself sharp.

Brandao has given himself a nice pink slip cushion. Granted, he's never been in trouble in losing his job per se, but he has been in trouble of losing momentum and any sense of fight identity. His last bout against Katsunori Kikuno was kind of perfect for him in that he managed to get matchup with someone even less defensively responsible on the feet. Ironically, Diego's boxing lunacy would serve him well against the elite grappling chops of Brian Ortega.

2. Ortega's status as a blue chip prospect was compromised after his NC over Mike De La Torre, but don't let the Drostanolone fool you.

Ortega's bout with Thiago Tavares was one of the hardest fights to watch in recent memory; It boggles my mind how anyone, nevermind a licensed medical professional, could look at Thiago's cut, smell the minty freshness of exposed frontal cortex, and think "yea, this guy can keep fighting".

That fight should have been stopped, but it wasn't. Beforehand I thought it was a bridge too far; just too much, too soon. But Ortega's kitchen sink attack from his back effectively countered Thiago's top control, which just goes to show you how good Ortega is on the ground. Expect him to duplicate his efforts this weekend, and probably with as much blood as last time.

3. If you want your opening bouts to be quick and violent, this should have been the first PPV fight.

Diego hasn't changed his game much. He has a dogged pursuit in the way flings his right hand to pressure opponents. To be fair, his technique isn't awful. It's his application that's lacking. But Diego has an otherwise mechanical way of violently moving forward with speed and power. Moreover, his grappling is high level in offensive situations. Chances are, if he hurts you, you're just as likely to get slept by his strikes as you are by chokes.

As I said earlier, Diego would actually benefit by using his reckless boxing. Ortega is still green, and hasn't had to deal with the kind of pressure Brandão offers. Tavares was pretty successful on the feet. It wasn't until the third round when the bout started to open up and Thiago started wailing recklessly that Ortega started scoring. And Thiago's speed and power aren't on Diego's level. However, Ortega will have the size advantage.

Ortega isn't quick on the feet, but he's strong. He punches with authority, and on the ground, he's highly active. It's kind of rare that you see a fighter on their back threatening so effortlessly, but Ortega manages this feat with strength, poise, and vision. He anticipates well and puts himself in position to threaten at all times.


This fight is gonna look like a valve system. As Ortega opens up with offense, Brandão will slowly be inundated with too much pressure. He's not a good three round fighter to begin with, so having to deal with Brian's size and output on the feet as well as the ground will prove to be too much. Expect Brian to get clocked though. His defense still needs work. I expect him to fight through it. Ortega by RNC, round 1.