Brian Ortega Still ‘In the Hood’ Despite Being Close to UFC Gold

Brian Ortega

This is Brian Ortega’s moment on Saturday. You can almost hear Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ playing in the background when thinking about the upcoming match-up with Frankie Edgar. At only 27-years old, this may not be Ortega’s ‘one shot’, but it certainly is his biggest yet. Edgar has made a career about being the enforcer who stops any hot prospect from getting a title shot besides him. While he may not know it, Edgar will be doing all he can to stop Ortega from not only getting that fight for the belt, but from moving out of the hood.

“I don’t count my chickens before they hatch you know. It sucks man, it sucks. I’m still in the hood, but you know, luckily I got love there and no one messes with me. The goal honestly, the way I see things happening is I beat Frankie [Edgar], then I have some good money, then I fight for the belt and that’s when I take off and buy my own house or whatever. It’s expensive over here in LA, man.”

“[The UFC and I] were already re-negotiating for a new contract and you know, when you’re in negotiations, they call it negotiations for a reason, there was a lot of back and forth. Finally when this fight came to play, it was almost like, ‘OK let’s just do it, let’s sign the new contract, give them what they want and play the card.’ It’s pretty much played out how we wanted it. We re-negotiated my pay, we re-negotiated my fights, everything was set and everything is being finalized this week signature-wise.” — Brian Ortega speaking to ESPN 5 Rounds podcast as transcribed by MMA NYTT.

If there is someone that can finally solve ‘The Answer’ for Frankie Edgar at featherweight other than Jose Aldo, it may be Brian Ortega. He’s riding a ridiculous 13-fight win streak and has finished all six of his fights in the UFC. If he can manage to finish Edgar like he did Cub Swanson, then he earns the fight with champion Max Holloway and may buy his way out of the rough neighborhood as well as whatever he wants from Jack in the Box. It all goes down this weekend at UFC 222.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2018.