Brian Ortega: ‘I was winning every minute of the fight’

July 16, 2022

No. 2 ranked featherweight contender Brian Ortega was defeated by No. 3 ranked Yair Rodriguez in the UFC Long Island main event after dislocating his shoulder.

With a title shot on the line, Rodriguez took the fight to Ortega in the early going of the opening round. Late in the frame, Ortega closed the distance and took Rodriguez down. Rodriguez immediately worked to lock on an arm bar. Before the submission was locked on, Ortega’s shoulder dislocated causing a sudden end to the fight.

“The grip was tight on my arm and it dislocated, and that was it,” Ortega told ESPN MMA following the loss. “No arm lock. No nothing, but it just dislocated. Freak accident. It just sucks.”

Prior to the injury, Ortega felt that he was doing well in the fight. In fact, he thought that he won ever minute of the contest.

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“Everything was going my way (before the injury). Literally I was winning every minute of the fight. I was sticking to the game plan because I do get emotional. For one second we started throwing and I was like, alright. I started throwing and then I go, nope, let’s stick to the game plan.

“The world saw I was about to show what I do best, which is grapple and take control. The second we hit the ground my fricken arm just came out. I’ve got no words.”

Ortega was clearly upset during the interview. He’ll get an MRI on his shoulder and assess what’s next.

“I’m upset,” he said. “I put in way too much work and sacrificed everything for something stupid like this to happen.”