UFC 226’s originally scheduled co-main event headliner Brian Ortega has released a statement clarifying his decision not to take a fight on the card’s lineup.
UFC 226 by all accounts was a massive success. Vicious finishes, memorable wars and a truly legendary win in the main-event – the card had it all. When the fans, fighters and media left the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night, few minds were fixated on the originally-scheduled co-main event that fell through at the last moment.
Given how good the night’s action was, it was easy to forget that one of the year’s most eagerly-anticipated matchups – the 145lb title tilt between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega – was also set to feature.
When the news broke that the champ Holloway was forced to withdraw from what would have been his second featherweight title-defence, one of the immediate questions that followed from the fans surrounded what the UFC would choose to do with Ortega.
After reportedly being offered a short-notice replacement in the form of the hard-hitting former-lightweight Jeremy Stephens, T-City opted to remove himself from potential fight-talks and in a statement posted to his official Instagram account – he explained why.
View this post on Instagram
I’m a Businessman, a company man, but I’m no yes man. Watching the fights last night knowing I could have been performing for all of you truly took a toll on me. I stand by my decision. Thank you to all of you who showed up to support and respected my decision. For those of you who don’t agree with me I completely understand and promise to give you guys the show of your life when I fight for the title. #tcity
There you have it! In fairness to him, he does make a good point. While it’s always fun to have guys like Donald Cerrone who will put themselves out there and take on anyone – no matter when, where or who, for a young up-and-comer like Ortega, putting himself in an unnecessary risk like that could backfire dramatically.
Look at what happened to his last conquest Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena