When it comes to the top 145-pound fighters on the planet, there’s only one that’s better than Brian Ortega…and that might not even be the case come July.
Once upon a time, a brash and outspoken Irishman stood atop this division as some may have forgotten. It feels like so long ago that he made the 145-pound limit…
That man obviously being the former UFC featherweight champ, Conor McGregor. The last time that McGregor fought at featherweight was when he won the title by defeating the legend, Jose Aldo in 2015 at UFC 194.
Regardless of that, the UFC megastar has remained a crazy personality and many have seemingly attempted to replicate his type of demeanor with what the next 145-pound title challenger, Ortega believes has led to minimal or no success.
“There’s only one Conor. Everybody who’s tried to be like Conor, you can tell they’re just fronting.” Ortega told MMAJunkie, “You can easily see, you can tell by the way they go in there…you’re just like, ‘Come on. Shut up.’
For me, I’m just me. That’s what I realized the best thing to be is. When I talk to people, they’re like, especially getting into the sport, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’ve got to be a character. You’ve got to be this.’ And my coach told…and I don’t know if I can cuss or not, but he goes, ‘F*ck that.’ He’s like, ‘Just be you, bro. You don’t have to lie on the thing. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to remember something you made up before.’ He goes, ‘Just be you, and you can’t go wrong with being you.’
So that’s what we did, and I’m happy I stuck to it, man. Because I’m just me. If I ever get pissed off, I’m legitimately pissed off. So far it hasn’t happened.”
One has to wonder if Ortega has anyone specific he’s referring to especially since Conor McGregor’s most outspoken teammate, Dillon Danis just made his MMA debut at Bellator 198 this past weekend.
Either way, the 14-0 undefeated, red-hot, Ortega is preparing for the biggest fight of his young career as he challenges for Max Holloway’s featherweight crown on July 7th at UFC 226 in Las Vegas.
Do you agree with Ortega’s comments?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/2/2018.