UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega set the record straight on his incident with Jay Park, a friend of The Korean Zombie.
Ortega was involved in a confrontation with Park at UFC 248 in early March, where he allegedly slapped The Korean Zombie’s friend while the fighter was in the bathroom. Ortega was escorted out of T-Mobile Arena by security and the police were called to investigate the incident. Ultimately, Park decided not to press charges despite The Korean Zombie urging him to do so.
Ortega and The Korean Zombie have been connected to a fight for the last year and were actually supposed to headline the UFC Busan card last December. But Ortega was forced out of the fight with an injury and The Korean Zombie instead fought Frankie Edgar, finishing him with strikes in the first round. The UFC was finally able to finally re-book this matchup and now The Korean Zombie and Ortega will meet this October on Fight island.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto before the fight, Ortega cleared the air on what he says actually happened with Park that night in Las Vegas. Ortega says that he was frustrated by Park talking smack about him online and admits he resorted to slapping him for “mouthing off.”
“Listen, man, I didn’t hit the guy, I didn’t punch the guy or nothing. I was like, just stop with your little antics. You have all these little antics, I’m like just stop with that bro. The fight’s already happening, you don’t gotta pull all these stunts. It got a little like whatever and I was like alright,” Brian Ortega said.
“The internet is full of people who talk sh*t and never have to pay any consequence for it. I don’t know who those people are, but bro I know who you are, and you are kinda mouthing off a little bit. You got a little too much confidence. So I just said it straight.”
Ortega knows that the incident divided fans, but ultimately he is content with what went down that night and says that the whole incident was overblown over what was just “a slap.”
“People don’t agree, that it was immature, whatever, maybe it’s the old me that I kinda gotta check, but it happened. It happened, it is what it was. It was just a slap, dude. These fans pay for our blood, to basically watch us kill each other in the cage, and they’re gonna get offended for a slap. Whatever. My mom slaps me daily when I cuss. It’s a slap. Relax,” Ortega said.
Finally healthy after two years away from the Octagon following a loss to Max Holloway in a title fight in December 2018, Ortega is excited to finally get back to doing what he loves when he meets The Korean Zombie on Fight Island in a fight he says Dana White wanted.
“After I pulled that stunt in Vegas, (the UFC matchmakers) wanted to make this fight. And then it was like ok, anybody else wasn’t offered to us, and the people that were offered were so high up the rankings that it didn’t make sense. And then we’re like yeah alright, Dana White and the people want to see this fight, so we’re like kinda locked into each other,” Ortega said.
What do you make of the incident between Brian Ortega and Jay Park?