Just when it looked as if Brian Ortega would receive no money for his cancelled UFC title fight vs. Max Holloway, there’s been a positive update to this story.
Speaking with AXS TV reporter Phoenix Carnevale at LFA 45 on Friday, the featherweight contender confirmed that he has received compensation from Dana White despite not competing at UFC 226 even after Holloway had been forced off the card due to concussion-like symptoms.
“I’m feeling a lot better now,” Ortega said. (transcription via MMAjunkie) “The heartbreak was a little bit real at first, but then once I started to realize the bigger picture and everything – and I had to put my ego aside and put my thinking cap on in terms of businesswise – we made the right decision. I talked to Dana just the other day, and everything is good between me and him. He compensated me – we reached an agreement.”
Ortega turned down an extremely short notice fight vs. Jeremy Stephens, which would’ve been for an interim title. By not accepting the bout, the UFC saw it fit to not pay him at all, because as he claims the UFC put it to him, “Your job is to show up and fight.” In another interview with Ariel Helwani, Ortega indicated that Dana White seemed displeased with the decision.
With the compensation finally sorted out, Ortega is now setting his sights on competing for the title next, whether it’d be Max Holloway or someone else. He’s also sending his best wishes to Holloway, as a rumor circulated that Holloway had actually suffered a mini-stroke.
“The goal was for me to go for a title, not to fight a guy who lost to the last three guys that I finished, so it just didn’t make sense to fight for anything else than a belt,” Ortega said. “I put myself in that position by finishing everyone who’s been in front of me, and I’m just going to wait for that and pray for Max because now they’re saying that it’s a possible light stroke, and that’s not a joke. I’ve got prayers on for Max, and he’s ‘Blessed,’ so he’ll come back.
“It doesn’t matter if you call me on one day, two days, that’s never been the issue. But the belt is what I want, and I’m going to wait for it and pray that Max gets better so we can give the fight fans the fight that you guys want to see because I know we missed out for you guys at UFC 226, but we’ll make up for it.”