Brian Ortega



Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 8/1/2023
Undergoes shoulder surgery
September 18, 2022
Ortega underwent shoulder surgery in early August, reports.
Ortega sustained a shoulder injury during his loss to Yair Rodriguez via TKO (injury) at UFC on ABC 3 in mid-July, and he ultimately elected to undergo a procedure a few weeks later. The 31-year-old underwent two shoulder surgeries earlier in his career, and it's not yet clear when he'll be able to return to action following his most recent procedure.
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Injury leads to defeat
July 16, 2022
Ortega lost to Yair Rodriguez via TKO (injury) at 4:11 of Round 1 at UFC on ABC 3 on Saturday on Long Island.
It's a crushing turn of events for Ortega. Ortega had his struggles on the feet in the brief bout, but his grappling game seemed on point, and he spent a good portion of the fight controlling Rodriguez along the fence. Unfortunately, his shoulder appeared to pop out following an exchange on the mat and it was immediately clear he could no longer continue. Whether or not the UFC decides to re-book this fight is likely dependent on how serious Ortega's injury is. He said in his post-fight interview that he has already had two shoulder surgeries and now might need a third. That sounds ominous, but we'll wait for more information.
Fighting at UFC Long Island
May 26, 2022
Ortega (face) will take on Yair Rodriguez at UFC Long Island on July 16, reports.
This bout was expected to happen at some point, but the date was unknown until now. Ortega came up just shy in his quest for the UFC Featherweight Championship last September against Alexander Volkanovski. It was just his second loss with the promotion with the other coming to Max Holloway, also in the Championship fight.
Possible matchup with Yair Rodriguez
February 16, 2022
Ortega (face) is being targeted for a featherweight matchup against Yair Rodriguez "in the future" according to MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.
Ortega finds himself at a bit of a crossroads in the division, as he's impressively handled most contenders that have been put in front of him, with the exception of the top-2 -- Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski. In fact, Ortega is currently serving a six-month medical suspension due to facial injuries suffered in the Volkanovski fight last September in which he ate 214 significant strikes. That's nothing compared to the 290 significant strikes he ate from Holloway in just four rounds, and he'll now face another high-volume striker in Rodriguez, who averages 4.65 significant strikes landed per minute. On the bright side, Rodriguez defends takedowns at a very average 60 percent clip, so Ortega might have a better shot at working his grappling in this proposed matchup. That factor will be especially key given Ortega will be giving up three inches in height and two inches in reach.
Receives medical suspension
September 28, 2021
Ortega is facing a six-month medical suspension, reports.
Ortega came up just short of taking down Alexander Volkanovski last weekend. He will need clearance from an ophthalmologist for a right orbital blowout fracture or be unable to fight again until March 25, 2022.
Historic effort in defeat
September 25, 2021
Ortega came up short in his quest for the UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (46-49, 45-50, 44-50) at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.
Ortega isn't leaving with UFC gold, but he still he put on one of the most historic performances in recent memory. It would be a shame if he wasn't rewarded with a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for his efforts (later confirmed by UFC President Dana White). Ortega was pounded on the feet by Volkanovski for the duration of the fight. That didn't stop "T-City" from nearly pulling off a miraculous submission, not once, but twice in Round 3. He clamped on both a guillotine and triangle choke and squeezed with all his might, but the champion somehow managed to slip out both times. Ortega had to literally be lifted to his stool by his corner at the end of a round and survive multiple visits from the cage side doctor in order to see the final bell. It won't make Ortega feel any better, but this is the rare instance in which a fighter raised his stock in defeat. The issue for Ortega is that it was a title fight, and there is nowhere to go but down from here. Ortega now has two career losses. They have come to Volkanovski and Max Holloway, the two best featherweights on the planet, both in UFC Featherweight Championship bouts.