In just a few hours, all eyes are going to be on Brian Ortega in his high-profile, large stakes fight with former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Correction, all eyes will be on the ground. Ortega is on a crazy 13-fight win streak and 7 of those are all by submission. His latest sub was against elite featherweight Cub Swanson and he’ll look to do the same tonight at UFC 222. However, he’s been doing it long before he stepped inside an MMA cage.
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) March 2, 2018
At just 17 years old, Brian Ortega was dishing out his Gracie jiu-jitsu to all-comers. Complete with a shaved head and a Drowning Pool soundtrack, Ortega tapped competitor after competitor back in 2008 at this Pankration tournament mixing strikes and grappling. Not only has he always been subbing his competition this long, but he’s clearly always been a gentleman. Check out him picking up and putting his opponent’s mouth guard back in for him.
This long journey paved with mat burn and strangled necks all leads to the here and now. Brian Ortega will be up against Frankie Edgar, who has been ‘The Answer’ to every major up and comer trying to fight their way to a title shot. His only loss at featherweight is Jose Aldo and he’s never been finished in his entire 13-year career. Ortega has the chance to prove if he really is just like the rest of the fighters who were never able to reach the tip top, or if he’s truly the new breed destined to be the future of the UFC.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/3/2018.