.@briantcity reveals he’w starting the Brian Ortega Foundation and T-City Scholarship to give back to the kids in his community: “I just want to make them smile and have some fun with them.” #UFC #UFC222 pic.twitter.com/0VK4eH7L3X
— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) March 1, 2018
Brian Ortega will face his toughest test to date tonight against Frankie Edgar, which will decide much more about his fate than just a possible UFC featherweight title fight. According to his own admission, he’s still living in the hood despite being a rising MMA star, but Edgar stands in the way of that potential move. But it’s more than just him he’s looking out for, he wants to use his success to give back.
“I’ve been able to start the Brian Ortega Foundation. Now we’re setting it up. It should be finalized hopefully by the end of this fight [with Frankie Edgar at UFC 222]. I was working on this after the Cub Swanson fight and a couple of other projects. We’re doing a lot of things, man. We’re doing what’s called the T-City Scholarships, which will sponsor kids or people who can’t afford training. I feel like people who deserve to train jiu-jitsu are the people who lack confidence.”
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) March 2, 2018
“So, I really want to cater to those type of people, get them one year T-City Scholarships, and that’s what we’re doing the second we open up the foundation. I’m talking with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Shriners Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and we’re working out deals on how I can go over there and visit the kids and give them some goodie bags. Just kind of spend my time with them and just make them smile, man. Have some fun with them. Then, from all the media that happens from there, let’s see what I get back in return and we’re gonna make our next move.” — Brian Ortega speaking to Jose Youngs of Sports Illustrated MMA.
It’s hard not to root for a guy like Brian Ortega, but it’s also hard not to pull for a fighter like Frankie Edgar. Unfortunately, both of these fighters can’t win and the natural progression of combat sports are going to weed out one. However, even if Ortega falls short tonight, he’s young and has a long career ahead of him. Even Edgar has had four chances to fight for the UFC featherweight title himself throughout his career if you count these last two fights that fell through with Max Holloway.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/3/2018.