At 33 years old, Brian Ortega has this physical status:
Brian Martin Ortega (born February 21, 1991) is an American mixed martial artist in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
A professional since 2010, he has also competed for the RFA, where he was the Featherweight Champion.
As of February 25, 2019, he is #2 in the UFC featherweight rankings.
Mixed martial arts career
He knew boxing coach James Luhrsen, who took him in and taught him in striking techniques when Ortega was 17. Ortega began his career in Southern California, competing specifically for regional promotions. He defeated Carlos Garces in his first pro-MMA tournament, winning by a unanimous vote and making the Respect In The Cage featherweight champion.
Ortega continued to win an undefeated record of 8–0 before joining the UFC in April 2014. He attributed his triumph to James Luhrsen and Rener Gracie's help and love.
Ortega was supposed to make his promotional debut against Diego Brando in The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale on May 31, 2014. However, Brandao pulled out of the fight in the days leading up to it citing an injury. Officials did not try to find a replacement because of the lateness of the reform, and Ortega was pulled from the card as well.
Ortega made his UFC on Fox 12 debut against Mike De La Torre on July 26, 2014. The result was changed to "No Contest" after Ortega's positive for drostanolone during a post-fight screening, with a first round submission (rear-naked choke) triumph. Ortega was fined $2,500 and barred for nine months as a result.
Ortega defeated Thiago Tavares at UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6, 2015. In the third round, he won the back-and-forth match via TKO. Both participants were given Fight of the Night awards.
On January 2, 2016, Ortega met Diego Brando, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Ortega rallied and triumphed by triangle choke in the third round after being knocked down in the first two rounds against Diego's striking for the first two rounds.
Ortega defeated Clay Guida by KO in the third round at UFC 199 on June 4, 2016. Guida won the second round and seemed to have the third won until Ortega rallied and defeated by a flying knee near the end of the round.
Ortega was supposed to face Hacran Dias on October 1, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 96. Ortega fought in early September but was then replaced by Andre Fili.
Ortega returned to Renato Moicano on July 29, 2017, 214. He won the third round via submission of a guillotine choke, and both fighters were given a Fight of the Night medal.
On December 9, 2017, Ortega took on Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 123. He was victorious in the competition, winning in the second round by guillotine choke submission. Ortega ended his streak of five straight fights with a win, the second longest streak in the UFC featherweight division behind the champion, Max Holloway. In addition, his win received him the Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night awards.
On March 3, 2018, Ortega met Frankie Edgar at UFC 222. In the first round, he won the fight by knockout. He was the first man to finish Edgar in MMA by doing so. He earned him the Performance of the Night bonus for his effort after this triumph.
Ortega was scheduled to face Max Holloway in the UFC Featherweight Championship on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226. However, Holloway was suspended from the sport after suffering "concussion-like symptoms" on July 4. Ortega has been scratched from the war since Holloway's departure.
Max Holloway's fight at UFC 231, which took place on December 8, 2018. At the end of the fourth round, Ortega was eliminated from the fight by doctor stoppage. For his participation in this fight, he was named the Night of the Night champion.
On December 21, 2019, Ortega would face Chan Sung Jung at UFC on ESPN+ 23. Ortega did, however, pull out of the contest early December due to a knee injury. Ortega vs. Jung was the fight that eventually took place on October 18, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie. Ortega won the one-sided match by unanimous vote after losing Jung multiple times.
Ortega was scheduled for a UFC Featherweight Championship match against current UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski on March 27, 2021 at UFC 260. The fight was suspended due to COVID-19 protocols, but it was later postponed.
Alexander Volkanovski and Ortega will be the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 29 at ESPN+ on April 2, 2021, and the show will feature contestants at bantamweight and middleweight.
Ortega defeated Alexander Volkanovski on September 25, 2021, UFC 266, where the UFC Featherweight Championship was held. He lost the fight by a unanimous decision. He received the Fight of the Night award for his efforts during this fight.
Ortega met Yair Rodrez on July 16, 2022, at UFC on ABC 3. After suffering a dislocated shoulder that rendered him unable to move forward, he lost the fight via TKO at the end of the first round.