Brian Ortega was riding high heading into his UFC 231 main event showdown with featherweight champion Max Holloway, but everything came crashing down when Holloway ran roughshod over him.
Ortega wasn’t lacking for heart. He fought tooth and nail with Holloway through four rounds of their scheduled five-round affair. Holloway, however, was the better man, getting off quicker and with more accuracy all fight long, but he couldn’t put Ortega away.
Ortega took Holloway’s best shots and kept staggering forward, but was eventually saved from his own toughness by the ringside physician, who deemed him unfit to continue following the fourth frame. Though he’s not one to give up – and he didn’t – Ortega couldn’t disagree with the doctor’s stoppage.
“Doctor stopped it and I agree,” Ortega wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “Broken nose and a broken thumb, I was willing to die in there.”
With the victory, Holloway ran his winning streak to 13 consecutive bouts. He last lost in 2013 to Conor McGregor, a man that many would like to see him fight again wondering if a different outcome might possibly be the result.
In losing to Holloway, Ortega suffered the first defeat of his career. The only other blip on his resume was having a victory over Mike De La Torre changed to a no contest after he tested positive for drostanolone during a post-fight drug test.
“(Saturday) night was Max’s night. I’ll be back,” Ortega continued. “Thank you to everyone who’s always believed in me and supported me.”
(Photo courtesy of Brian Ortega on Instagram)