Undefeated featherweight contender Brian Ortega earned a shot against 145-pound UFC champion Max Holloway when he became the first fighter to ever finish Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 on March 3. The two are expected to meet later this year when Holloway returns from injury.
Prior to defeating Edgar, Ortega defeated Cub Swanson in December.
Swanson has also been inside the octagon against Holloway. Holloway defeated Swanson by submission in April of 2015. Having fought both fighters, Swanson gave his opinion of the upcoming UFC title fight and believes it could be a one-sided affair.
“I’m definitely going to give the edge to Ortega in the grappling, but Holloway is not easy to take down. He’s got the length,” said Swanson during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “It’s funny because I just don’t see Ortega having a chance in my opinion. But I keep thinking that and he keeps winning. He keeps surprising me.”
Half of Ortega’s 14 wins have come by way of submission. He’s a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rener Gracie. He can hang with any featherweight on the ground, but Swanson believes Holloway’s striking is going to cause problems for the 27-year-old challenger, exposing a weakness in his game.
“As far as striking levels, I’d say there’s a huge gap, so unless Ortega can get it to the ground somehow, or get it in the clinch at least, I don’t think he does well in that fight,” said Swanson.
Swanson is preparing for the first rematch of his UFC tenure and only the second rematch of his storied 33-fight career. He will next meet Edgar in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 128: Barboza vs. Lee, which is slated for April 21 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.