Brian Ortega showed his fighting IQ in the latest season of the Ultimate Fighter. The 30 year old featherweight coached a group of contestants who were UFC hopefuls at bantamweight and middleweights. The opposing coach this season was Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega is scheduled to make a return to the UFC Octagon against Volkanovski on September 25, 2021 at UFC 266 for the UFC Featherweight Championship. Ortega comes into the Octagon with a 15-1 record and is currently ranked #2 in the Featherweight division.
Ortega was born on February 21, 1991 in Los Angeles California. Ortega is of Mexican descent. Ortega is a lifelong martial artist. He started his training at the age of five doing Muay Thai. At age 13 Ortega started training Brazilian Jiu JItsu under Rorion Gracie and his sons Ryron, Rener, and Ralek Gracie at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, CA. At age 17 Ortega met a boxing coach named James Luhrsen. Luhrsen took Ortega in and started adding a heavy striking emphasis to Ortega’s fight strategy.
Ortega Says of his training background in an interview with Fighters Only; “My backgrounds are in Gracie jiu-jitsu and boxing. In Gracie jiu-jitsu we let the opponent defeat themselves. In boxing, when you first start, you figure each other out and pick up the pace as he goes.” He added that his fighting style is very planned out “Everything we’ve done has been strategic. We’ve always talked about it.”
Ortega began his fighting career in 2010 with a win over John Sassone by submission. He would go on to win his next 7 fights including two titles in The Respect In The Cage promotion and RFA. Ortega made his UFC promotional debut with a win by submission (rear-naked choke,) but the win was overturned after Ortega tested positive for drostanolone. He went on to win his next six fights in the UFC which earned Ortega a title shot against Featherweight Champion, Max Holloway. Unfortunately Ortega lost the bout, earning him the only loss of his career.
Ortega will get another title shot at UFC 266 where he’ll face current Featherweight Champion, Alexander Volkanovski in a 5 Round Championship Bout. Both Volkanovski and Ortega have only one loss in their professional careers. With Volkanovski riding a 19 fight win streak. It’s sure to be the fight of the night.