UFC contender Brian Ortega fights to make a difference

UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega is far from perfect despite his undefeated record.

He’s the first to admit he has veered off course a time or two in his life, particularly as a troubled poverty-stricken adolescent in San Pedro, California.

He might enjoy a party a little too much, and there was a positive steroid test after his first UFC fight in 2014.

Ortega has made plenty of mistakes in his 27 years and knows he will make plenty more, yet none of them has caused him to lose focus on his goal of making the world a better place.

He hopes to spread the message and knows the more success he has as a fighter, the more his words will resonate.

“Anyone who has ever tried to do something good will tell you that you need attention to help the cause,” Ortega said Thursday in advance of his bout against former champion Frankie Edgar on the main card of UFC 222 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

“The way I look at it, the more I fight and the more I win, the more my message will be shared with the world. I want different types of platforms, and right now, fighting is the biggest platform I have. Helping people that are down and out is all I’ve ever wanted to do. This is why I want to be world champion. I want to help make the world a better place.”

Ortega is in the process of establishing a foundation in his name and hopes to use it to help those in need. He also wants to encourage others to try to make a difference in their community.

“I just want people to realize that it doesn’t take much to be a good person,” he said. “Simple things is all it takes. Buy someone food every once in a while. You don’t have to do it all the time, and you don’t have to be a perfect person to make a difference. … If it’s in your heart, it’s in your heart.”

Ortega hasn’t shown as much compassion to his opponents. He has finished all six of his UFC foes, though his first victory was changed to a no-contest after the positive drug test.

Edgar presents the biggest test of his career, but Ortega says he’s ready after a spectacular win over longtime contender Cub Swanson in December.

The victory gave him the confidence to accept this bout on short notice after champion Max Holloway pulled out of a title defense against Edgar, whom Ortega calls a “legend.”

“This opportunity means so much to me,” Ortega said. “It’s something I’ve always trained for and dreamed about. Nobody expected me to finish Cub Swanson the way I did. When you see something like that, even I say, ‘You’re finally here. You’re not only hanging with the best of the best, you’re finishing them.’ ”

He’ll get another chance against Edgar, who is risking the title shot he has already earned.

“I just want to fight,” Edgar said. “It’s been awhile since I was in there. I’m not going to sit there and wait and then something else happens. I could wait for Max and then I could get hurt or he could get hurt again.”

The bout is part of a 7 p.m. pay-per-view card headlined by a women’s featherweight title bout between Yana Kunitskaya and champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The first bout is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: UFC 222 recap
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC 222
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the main card fights including Cris Cyborg keeping her title, Bryan Ortega's win over Frankie Edgar and Sean O'Malley fighting through an injury.
UFC 222: Fight Preview
Covering the cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang provide a preview for UFC 222 as well as their predictions.
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the top fights to watch for at UFC 222 including Cris Cyborg and Brian Ortega.
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like