Brian Ortega feels his injury-stoppage loss to Yair Rodriguez wasn’t the happy ending fans were looking for.
The duo’s much-anticipated clash at UFC Long Island tonight ended in anti-climactic fashion when Ortega dislocated his shoulder after escaping from an armbar. The injury saw the referee step in to stop the fight, awarding Rodriguez a TKO victory after just over four minutes of action.
The loss is a huge setback for Ortega’s bid to make another run at the featherweight title. In September last year, the 31-year-old tasted defeat in a fight that almost saw him submit champ Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega has now lost three of his last four outings, albeit against the division’s best.
For Rodriguez, the win saw him bounce back from his one-sided loss to Max Holloway in November and places him as a possible front runner to face Volkanovski next. In the coming days, we can expect the #3 ranked Rodriguez to leapfrog the #2-ranked Ortega in the featherweight rankings.
Ortega Shares Frustrations, Wants Rematch With Rodriguez
Coming so close to clinching UFC gold in his last fight, and now losing in the most disappointing way tonight, Ortega could be forgiven for feeling like he’s frustrated. And he revealed as much while speaking to ESPN following, saying that not only was he left with pent-up frustrations, but all the fans watching at home, too.
“We left the world with blue balls,” said Ortega. “We didn’t get to finish what I wanted to do, you know? How he got up, how we scrambled, how we banged it out. I was ready in my mind to have a dog fight. I was ready to go in there and just impose my will. And I can’t do it with just one arm.
“And yeah, he said he’s willing to run it back. I definitely wanna get it back. I’m gonna go MRI this as soon as I can, do what I have to do. I pray to God that I don’t have to get surgery. I already had two shoulder surgeries as it is, so I’m praying that I don’t have to go under that knife again.”
What do you think? Should Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez run it back?