Brian Ortega and Max Holloway are set to fight at UFC 231 on Saturday for the UFC featherweight belt.
This isn’t the first time the two have been scheduled to fight, however. At UFC 226 in July, Holloway and Ortega were booked to collide, but Holloway ended up having to pull out of the fight. It was reported that the Hawaiian had concussion-like symptoms and perhaps some trouble with his weight cut. However, it has never been revealed what actually happened. As a result, Ortega has lingering doubts
“[A] small part,” Ortega said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show when asked if any part of him doubts Holloway will show up. “We usually know when Max starts cutting weight, that is where the issue always comes up. We are worried a little bit, but I am doing my part.”
With uncertainty swirling around the fight, Ortega still isn’t confident he’ll be fighting Holloway. He already went through the hype of fighting the Hawaiian in July and it was a big letdown when he heard the news that Holloway had to pull out. Now, with the fight just days away, Ortega knows he has a job to do but isn’t emotionally invested into it like he was in July.
“Emotionally, I haven’t really invested myself in it anymore, especially because of the last one. I kind of detached myself and got myself to work for whatever,” he said. “The way I put it is I am going to fight for a title no matter who it is. I am just going to get ready for whatever.”
If Max Holloway isn’t able to fight in the UFC 231 main event, Brian Ortega will be matched up on short notice with streaking Brazilian contender Renato Moicano, who is being flown into Toronto as an alternate. Ortega already holds a win over Moicano, having recently defeated him submission.
It has been Ortega’s dream to be a UFC champion and on Saturday he has the chance to do so, whether Holloway is across the Octagon from him or not.
Do you think we will see Max Holloway fight Brian Ortega on Saturday?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/4/2018