Even if Brian Ortega emerges victorious in his UFC 260 title fight against Alexander Volkanovski, he would still feel as though there is something missing from his championship celebration: redemption.
There is only one man who holds a victory over Brian “T-City” Ortega, and he is the same man who has earned his place among the Mount Rushmore of the UFC’s featherweight division: Max Holloway.
Many people consider Holloway to be the greatest featherweight of all time, so there is no shame in dropping a fight to him. But for a competitor like Brian Ortega, when he thinks of Holloway, he sees business that he considers unfinished. These thoughts would continue to steal a piece of his joy and even his own assessment of his credibility as featherweight world champion should he unseat Alexander Volkanovski.
“It’s like, OK, you win, you’re the champ, but this man beat you. I wouldn’t feel 100% the champ if I didn’t run it back,” Ortega said in an interview with ESPN released Wednesday. “That man has that on his résumé. He gave you your first loss, something you can never take from him. So now, it’s like, ‘Well, we gotta make this right…
“Obviously, it would be amazing to be a champ and say, ‘Hey, man, mission accomplished. You told yourself you were gonna get this belt, and you did it. Congratulations. Now, fuck this belt. Max.’”
Ortega Won’t Stop Until He Beats Holloway
Brian Ortega gives full credit to Volkanovski for defeating Holloway twice, even if much of the public does not. Accordingly, he views Volkanovski as the rightful champion at 145 and acknowledges that a win over the Australian would make him very much the legitimate featherweight champ both on paper and in his mind. However, the dog that lives inside this LA native’s heart won’t be fully content with his status in the division until he avenges his loss to Max Holloway. He even used Holloway’s own words to drive home this very point.
“I’m a fighter. I think Max said it himself. He’s like, ‘Bro, you beat me one time, I’m gonna wanna fight you again. You beat me two times, I’m gonna wanna fight you 80 times till I can beat you.’ And that’s the same mentality I have,” Ortega said.
For Brian Ortega to become UFC champion, 100% feels or otherwise, he will have to be the one handing out a first L by being the first man to defeat Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC. He will have that opportunity in less than two weeks at the blockbuster event that is UFC 260, headlined by heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
Do you think Brian Ortega would be able to defeat Max Holloway in a rematch?