Ortega will face Rodríguez in the UFC Long Island headliner today. It is his first fight in the Octagon since a loss to Volkanovski at UFC 266, despite coming close to victory multiple times.
Ortega had Volkanovski trapped in a chokehold twice during the fight. Yet, on each occasion, Volkanovski was able to pop out of it before landing hard ground-and-pound in response.
As he gets ready to potentially earn another shot at Volkanovski with a win over Rodríguez, Ortega is using the loss as a learning opportunity for his upcoming Octagon appearance.
Brian Ortega Isn’t Dwelling On Nearly Submitting Alexander Volkanovski
During his UFC Long Island media day, Ortega was asked to reflect on his near title-winning performance against Volkanovski.
“There’s a part of like, bro, stop being a bitch. Go in there, and make the adjustments, and make sure you’re undeniable the way [Volkanovski] is doing right now,” Ortega said.
“I gotta take a page off his book. He’s been making sure that he’s undeniably the best that there is. I need to become that. If I want to become a champ, I need to steal a page off that man’s book, which is when it comes to that mentality, you have to be undeniable. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m doing my best, grind to work as hard as I can to make sure that I’m undeniable.”
Volkanovski most recently earned a dominant win over former champion Max Holloway at UFC 276. He could potentially move up to lightweight soon but hasn’t ruled out defending his 145lb belt a few more times before making that decision.
An impressive win today could give Ortega the next title shot and a chance at redemption for the two-time title challenger.
What is your prediction for Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodríguez?