Brian Ortega

Brian Ortega (born February 21, 1991) is an American professional mixed martial artist that currently competes in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

A professional since 2010, Ortega has also competed in the RFA, where he was the Featherweight Champion. As of February 27, 2024, he is #3 in the UFC featherweight rankings.

Brian Ortega
Brian Ortega
Ortega interviewed in 2018
Born (1991-02-21) February 21, 1991 (age 33)
Los Angeles, California, United States
NicknameT-City
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight
Lightweight
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Fighting out ofTorrance, California, United States
TeamBlack Belt Surfing
Black House MMA (formerly)
Gracie University HQ (2004–present)
Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center (2019–present)
TrainerRener Gracie
Rank1st degree BJJ black belt
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total20
Wins16
By knockout3
By submission8
By decision5
Losses3
By knockout2
By decision1
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Background

Ortega was born on February 21, 1991, in Los Angeles, California. Ortega has both American and Mexican citizenships as his parents came from Hermosillo, Sonora in Mexico. He grew up in a Section 8 housing project of San Pedro, California.

When Ortega was 13 he began learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu after his father enlisted him at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California. Ortega started training under head coach Rener Gracie who saw great potential in him. After Ortega's father decided to stop his son's training due to financial difficulties, Gracie took over the tuition fees. Ortega received his BJJ black belt and the nickname "T-City" (from his use of triangle choke) from Gracie.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

When Ortega was 17, he met boxing coach James Luhrsen, who trained him in striking skills to complete the ground work Ortega was learning with Gracie. Ortega began his career competing for regional promotions exclusively in Southern California. He won his first pro-MMA championship against Carlos Garces in a five-round bout via unanimous decision, becoming the Respect in the Cage featherweight champion.

Ortega went on to compile an undefeated record of 8–0 before signing with the UFC in April 2014. He credited his success to support and love from James Luhrsen and Rener Gracie.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ortega was expected to make his promotional debut against Diego Brandão on May 31, 2014, at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale. However, Brandao pulled out of the bout in the days leading up to the event citing an injury. Due to the late nature of the change, officials did not try to find a replacement and Ortega was pulled from the card as well.

Ortega eventually made his debut on July 26, 2014, at UFC on Fox 12 against Mike De La Torre. Originally, a first round submission (rear-naked choke) win for Ortega, the result was changed to "No Contest" after Ortega tested positive for drostanolone during a post fight screening. Subsequently, Ortega was fined $2,500 and suspended for nine months.

Ortega faced Thiago Tavares on June 6, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 68. He won the back-and-forth fight via TKO in the third round. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.

Ortega faced Diego Brandão, who is a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, on January 2, 2016, at UFC 195. After being down against Diego's striking for the first two rounds, Ortega rallied and won via triangle choke in the third round.

At UFC 199 on June 4, 2016, Ortega defeated Clay Guida by KO in the third round. After winning the first round, Guida won the second round and looked to have the third won until Ortega rallied and won via a flying knee near the end of the round.

Ortega was expected to face Hacran Dias on October 1, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 96. However, Ortega pulled out of the fight in early September and was replaced by Andre Fili.

Ortega next faced Renato Moicano on July 29, 2017, at UFC 214. He won the back and forth fight via submission in the third round with a guillotine choke, while both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night bonus.

Ortega faced Cub Swanson on December 9, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 123. He was victorious in the fight, winning in the second round by guillotine choke submission. The finish put Ortega's streak at five straight fights won with a finish, which at the time was the second longest current win streak in the UFC featherweight division behind the champion, Max Holloway. The win also earned him the Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night honors.

Ortega faced Frankie Edgar on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222. He won the fight via knockout in the first round. In doing so, he became the first man to ever finish Edgar in MMA. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.

Ortega was scheduled to face Max Holloway for the UFC Featherweight Championship on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226. However, on July 4, Holloway was pulled from the fight due to "concussion like symptoms". Hence, Ortega scratched from the fight after Holloway's withdrawal.

The fight against Max Holloway eventually took place on December 8, 2018, in the main event at UFC 231. Ortega lost the fight by doctor stoppage at the end of the fourth round. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.

Ortega was scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung on December 21, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 23. However, Ortega pulled out of the fight in early December citing a knee injury. The bout against Jung eventually took place on October 18, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie. Dropping Jung multiple times, Ortega won the one sided match by unanimous decision.

Ortega was scheduled for a UFC Featherweight Championship bout against current UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski on March 27, 2021, at UFC 260. However, the fight was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.

On April 2, 2021, it was announced that Alexander Volkanovski and Ortega would be the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 29 at ESPN+ and the show will feature contestants at bantamweight and middleweight.

Ortega faced Alexander Volkanovski on September 25, 2021, at UFC 266 for the UFC Featherweight Championship. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.

Ortega faced Yair Rodríguez on July 16, 2022, at UFC on ABC 3. He lost the fight via TKO at the end of the first round after suffering a dislocated shoulder which rendered him unable to continue.

After a year and a half layoff, Ortega returned to rematch against Yair Rodríguez on February 24, 2024, at UFC Fight Night 237. Ortega won the fight via arm-triangle submission in the third round. This fight earned him another Performance of the Night award.

Championships and accomplishments

Controversies

UFC 248 incident

On March 8, 2020, a police report was filed against Ortega for allegedly slapping rapper Jay Park, translator for Jung Chan-sung (Korean Zombie), at UFC 248.

Personal life

Ortega has two sons. He was engaged to fellow UFC fighter Tracy Cortez.

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
20 matches 16 wins 3 losses
By knockout 3 2
By submission 8 0
By decision 5 1
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 16–3 (1) Yair Rodríguez Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs. Royval 2 February 24, 2024 3 0:58 Mexico City, Mexico Performance of the Night.
Loss 15–3 (1) Yair Rodríguez TKO (shoulder injury) UFC on ABC: Ortega vs. Rodríguez July 16, 2022 1 4:11 Elmont, New York, United States
Loss 15–2 (1) Alexander Volkanovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 266 September 25, 2021 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 15–1 (1) Jung Chan-sung Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie October 18, 2020 5 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 14–1 (1) Max Holloway TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 231 December 8, 2018 4 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada For the UFC Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 14–0 (1) Frankie Edgar KO (punch) UFC 222 March 3, 2018 1 4:44 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States UFC featherweight title eliminator. Performance of the Night.
Win 13–0 (1) Cub Swanson Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega December 9, 2017 2 3:22 Fresno, California, United States Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win 12–0 (1) Renato Moicano Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 214 July 29, 2017 3 2:59 Anaheim, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 11–0 (1) Clay Guida KO (knee) UFC 199 June 4, 2016 3 4:40 Inglewood, California, United States
Win 10–0 (1) Diego Brandão Submission (triangle choke) UFC 195 January 2, 2016 3 1:37 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 (1) Thiago Tavares TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson June 6, 2015 3 4:10 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Fight of the Night.
NC 8–0 (1) Mike De La Torre NC (overturned) UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown July 26, 2014 1 1:39 San Jose, California, United States Originally a submission (rear-naked choke) win for Ortega; overturned after he tested positive for drostanolone.
Win 8–0 Keoni Koch Decision (split) RFA 12 January 24, 2014 5 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Won the RFA Featherweight Championship.
Win 7–0 Jordan Rinaldi Submission (triangle choke) RFA 9 August 6, 2013 3 2:29 Pomona, California, United States
Win 6–0 Thomas Guimond Submission (triangle choke) Respect in the Cage 20 May 4, 2013 1 4:02 Pomona, California, United States Defended the RTC Featherweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Carlos Garces Decision (unanimous) Respect in the Cage 10 March 12, 2011 5 5:00 Pomona, California, United States Won the RTC Featherweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Chris Mercado Decision (unanimous) Respect in the Cage 9 January 15, 2011 3 5:00 Pomona, California, United States
Win 3–0 Vincent Martinez Submission (rear-naked choke) Respect in the Cage 5 July 24, 2010 1 1:54 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 2–0 Brady Harrison Decision (unanimous) Gladiator Challenge: Bad Behaviour June 27, 2010 3 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 1–0 John Sassone Submission (triangle choke) Gladiator Challenge: Maximum Force April 25, 2010 1 1:48 San Jacinto, California, United States

Pay-per-view bouts

No. Event Fight Date City Venue PPV Buys
1. UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega December 8, 2018 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Scotiabank Arena 300,000
2. UFC 266 Volkanovski vs. Ortega September 25, 2021 Paradise, Nevada, United States T-Mobile Arena Not Disclosed

See also

Notes

References

This article uses material from the Wikipedia English article Brian Ortega, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license ("CC BY-SA 3.0"); additional terms may apply (view authors). Content is available under CC BY-SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.
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