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Brian Ortega will look to bounce back from his first career loss and do so with a vengeance.
He heads to enemy territory when he takes on Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 23 in Busan, South Korea on Dec. 21, a fight he hopes will propel him back into featherweight contention.
After an undeniable run of excellence in the UFC’s 145-pound division, finishing every one that was put in front of him, Ortega (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) earned a title shot against champion Max Holloway at UFC 231.
But it proved to be a little too much for Ortega, who showed a ton of heart, but was battered throughout the fight. The doctor waved off the fight at the end of the fourth, and Ortega suffered his first loss as a pro.
That prompted “T-City” to make some changes, and after taking some time off to heal from nose and hand surgery, Ortega wants to pick up right where he left off, when he was taking everyone out.
“I feel like coming out here and really putting on a show and demonstrating who I am and what I’m made out of,” Ortega said at the UFC Busan pre-fight press conference. “That I can really go back and to climb the ladder again. I’ve only had one defeat in my career, and that was to the champ, and that night, I was not myself so I want to get back in there and let the world know who I really am when I step in there. The same guy that finished everyone in the UFC, and I just want to keep that streak going.”
And he believes the “Korean Zombie” is the perfect dance partner, who will bring the best out of him. Stylistically, both guys have shown that they are unafraid to exchange in a firefight, and Ortega says the South Korean fans are in for a treat on Dec. 21.
“When you look at who is out there, that is going to bring a fight to you, it’s going to be him,” Ortega said. “It’s going to be the guy who likes to go in there and likes to fight. There’s very few fighters now at the top who are willing to stand in the pocket and really pretty much trade punches for punches and see who is the toughest man in this sport and those are the type of fights that I love.”
“I love when I go in there, I love it when we both go in there with heart, strength, honor and put it all on the line, and I love that type of style. I’ve seen his fights, he loves that type of style, and the fans love it so it’s going to be a beautiful show.”
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