Morning Report: Brian Ortega targeting Max Holloway rematch after he wins featherweight title: ‘Let’s run that sh*t back’


This weekend, Brian Ortega challenges Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC featherweight title in the main event of UFC 266. Ortega is known for his lethal submission game but showcased dramatically improved striking skills in his last outing, dominating former title challenger Chan Sung Jung. Now as he heads into his second shot at the featherweight title, Ortega believes his technical acumen is catching up to the rest of his skills, which is a dangerous proposition for Volkanovski.

“I see the game, I play the game,” Ortega told TMZ Sports. “I’m climbing this technical mountain, to speak. These guys are already there. They’re far beyond me, I admit that, like some technical sh*t. But when I get in there, I’m different. There’s some things you can’t teach through technique. On the spot, on the go, when I’m in your face, when I touch you, when I hit you, I make you feel different things. That’s always been my advantage, and now that I’m adding technique to it, I’m climbing, I’m climbing, I’m climbing, I’m learning. I’m only getting more dangerous.”

That certainly could be a problem for other featherweights as Ortega was already extremely dangerous to begin with. The fourth-ranked featherweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, Ortega is 8-1-1 in his UFC career with seven of those wins coming by way of stoppage. Ortega’s lone loss is to former champion Max Holloway in 2018, and should he get the job done this weekend, Ortega says he wants to get the chance to get even with “Blessed.”

“That would be ideal,” Ortega said. “I’m not trying to speak ahead or get past Volkanovski because he beat Max twice, so I’m not here to already start celebrating but that would be ideal. I’m a better person, better fighter than I was when I fought him and watching his last fight, so is he. You always want that. As a fighter, as a competitor, you always want to make that sh*t square or to say, ‘Yo dog, you know what? You legit got the best of me. Good sh*t.’”

Ortega and Holloway fought at UFC 231, with Holloway putting on a striking clinic against the dangerous grappler, landing a then-record 290 significant strikes against Ortega (Holloway broke that record this year, tallying 445 significant strikes against Calvin Kattar), before the doctor stopped the fight in between the fourth and fifth rounds. The loss remains the lone defeat of Ortega’s career and he says he’s itching for another crack at Holloway.

“I’m competitive,” Ortega said. “I want to make sh*t even. It does bother me. You go in there and you go, ‘F*ck!’ I look at my record and I go, ‘F*ck, that one belongs to him. Oh you motherf*cker! Good sh*t.’ I’m not a hater either. I’m not a hater so I’m like good sh*t but I’m from the hood, let’s run that sh*t back. (Laughs). Let’s run it back. Let’s always run it back. Let’s f*cking get down. Even if he f*cks me up again, I’ll fight you 100 times. I’m gonna get one.”


Results. Anthony Smith makes quick work of Ryan Spann at UFC Vegas 37.

Results. Phil Davis spoils Yoel Romero’s Bellator debut, wins split decision at Bellator 266.

Results. Former champ Kai Asakura defeats game Alan Yamaniha, advances to GP semifinals at RIZIN 30.

Heated. Anthony Smith explains post-fight confrontation with Ryan Spann, promises ‘I don’t give a f*ck anymore’.

Pay. Jorge Masvidal hopes more people bring attention to fighter pay ‘because I think it’s messed up’.

Beef. Luke Rockhold issues fiery response to Sean Strickland, vows to ‘put him where he belongs back in the trailer park’.

League. Details emerge on new MMA promotion World Fight League.


UFC Vegas 37 and Bellator 266 Post Show.

The MMA Hour Week 5 Highlights.

UFC 266 Countdown.

Alexander Volkanovski’s nutritionist discusses his diet.

Devin Clark’s teeth injury.

Fighters remembering Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.


On to the Next One. Matchmaking following UFC Vegas 37.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC Vegas 37 and UFC 266.


This was a journey, but Dan Hooker got his visa approved.

Improvement.

Matchmaking.

Respect.

Teammates.

These two love each other.

Vibes.


Vadim Nemkov (14-2) vs. Julius Anglickas (10-1); Bellator 268, Oct. 16.

Alessio Di Chirico (13-6) vs. Albert Duraev (14-3); UFC 267, Oct. 30.

C.J. Vergara (9-2-1) vs. Ode Osbourne (9-4); UFC 268, Nov. 6.

Jailton Almeida (14-2) vs. Danilo Marques (11-3); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 13.

Adrian Yanez (14-3) vs. Davey Grant (11-5); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 20.

Ryan Hall (8-2) vs. Darrick Minner (26-12); UFC 269, Dec. 11.

Raphael Assuncao (27-8) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 18.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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