Brian Ortega can become the UFC featherweight champion at UFC 260, yet he says he wouldn’t feel like a champ.
In the co-main event of the pay-per-view card, Ortega is set to challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title. It’s a very intriguing clash of styles and is a fight that should be exciting from start to finish. However, for Ortega, even if he wins and becomes the champ, he says he won’t consider himself the champion until he rematches and beats Max Holloway.
“I wouldn’t feel 100 percent the champ if I didn’t run it back (with Max Holloway). That man has that on his resume,” Ortega said to ESPN. “He gave you your first loss, something you can never take from him. So now it’s like, well, we gotta make this right.”
Brian Ortega and Max Holloway fought back at UFC 231 in December of 2018 in Toronto where Holloway dominated the fight. Entering the scrap, Ortega was actually the betting favorite as Holloway was dealing with the concussion-like symptoms that pulled him from his UFC 226 fight with Ortega.
Although Holloway had some medical issues, it didn’t look like it impacted him at all. The Hawaiian picked Ortega apart and brutally beat him up. It resulted in the doctor stopping the fight after the fourth round. Ortega would then take well over a year off before returning after letting his injuries heal.
Since the loss to Holloway, however, Brian Ortega rebounded nicely as he beat Korean Zombie by decision on Fight Island in a dominant effort. The win got him another title shot and if he wins, Holloway will no doubt be next. The Hawaiian had a phenomenal performance against Calvin Kattar last time out to get back into the win column. But, before Ortega can get the rematch with Holloway, he will need to beat Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 260.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime