UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega was one of the front-runners to replace Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. However, Max Holloway was instead offered that opporunity, though in the end, lightweight Al Iaquinta instead ended up fighting the Russian. Ortega has now revealed in an interview that he is still highly eager to fight Nurmagomedov and feels he is a really interesting stylistic match-up for the UFC’s lightweight king.
Ortega is predominantly known for his slick submission skills and sublime and scary ground game. However, in his last fight against veteran Frankie Edgar, he displayed heavy hadns as well and became the first person to ever knock Edgar out. He is now all set to face the UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway for the title at UFC 226.
Ortega recently did an interview with MMA Junkie. In the interview, he talked about his eagerness to fight “The Eagle”, he also discussed how his ground game and Nurmagomedov’s ground game are polar opposites and hence make a really intriguing match-up. Here;s what he had to say:
I took the fight no matter what, but when you make a decision, you don’t fully think through it. When I started finally thinking through it, I got excited.
Not too many people present a good ground game from the bottom, T=they survive a little bit, and it’s kind of boring. But not too many people are attacking from the bottom, hurting with elbows. They don’t bring that kind of game because it takes a long time to develop. Whereas me, I grew up in that situation, where I was always the bottom guy, always getting beat up by these guys. So I had to adapt my game to that.
I was curious as to what was going to happen.
It’s on my radar, I have a big fight right now, but that one, for sure, it’s on the radar. I have to be successful on July 7, and hopefully, I can make that happen after.