Brian Ortega left no doubt as to who the next top featherweight contender was after his first-round demolition of Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, but ‘T-City’ is still awestruck that he’s actually going to be challenging Max Holloway for the title in just over two months time at UFC 226.
According to Ortega, this is something he’s been preparing for his entire career. But it still came as a shock when the UFC announced that he would fighting ‘Blessed’ for the featherweight title on July 7.
“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 has finished all of his bouts under the UFC banner and has no intention of point scoring or playing it safe against Holloway come fight night. Holloway, 26, is on a massive twelve-fight win streak and has finished nine of those bouts via TKO or submission.
Ortega, who stormed to the top of the rankings after his brutal KO of Edgar, was highly complimentary of Holloway’s fighting style and promises fans a ‘crazy’ fight at UFC 226.
“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: Miocic vs. Cormier is one of the most stacked events of the year and features Holloway vs. Ortega as the co-main event. The pay-per-view extravaganza takes place later this year, July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.