Brian Ortega Details Backstage Meeting With Dana White After UFC 226 Fight Cancellation

MMA

Brian Ortega was supposed to challenge UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway for the gold at UFC 226, but Holloway would pull out of the fight due to concussion-like symptoms.

The featherweight contender would have a meeting with UFC President Dana White after the fight cancelation and Ortega stood his ground against White.

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“All of [my team] were on the same page,” Ortega said on Below the Belt. “It never happened in the history of our team. It’s always like [one guys says] ‘I think you should take it,’ [another guy says] ‘No, you’re stupid!’ and then it’s this thing and we finally come to an agreement. This time, I walked in the room and everyone was on the same page. [So], we talked to Dana and he was pretty pissed off. He was just in a bad mood, a fight fell through, DC just fell, and then he walks in this meeting. So I tell him, ‘Hey, I’m not gonna fight.’ I’m holding my ground. ‘Listen, with all due respect, I stepped in and fought [Thiago] Tavares on two weeks’ notice, I stepped in and I fought Frankie on three weeks’ notice, and I stepped in and tried to fight Khabib [Nurmagomedov] on six days’ notice. It’s not a scared issued, it’s not that I’m not down for the company. I finished everyone you told me to, every single person you put in front of me, I took their heads off and, like Conor [McGregor] says, I put them on your f**king doorstep. That earned me a title shot and now that I’m here, why go anywhere else besides forward?”

It is still unknown at this time as to when Holloway will return to action, as the champion is still undergoing tests to find out what exactly is wrong with him.

Ortega did turn down fights against late notice replacements, which would up costing him a lot of money in the end.

“The offer was Frankie [Edgar] or [Jeremy] Stephens,” Ortega said. “I was like, Frankie, we just fought him and Stephens, I want to fight for a title, not fight — if you look at it, [Renato] Moicano beat Stephens, [Cub] Swanson beat Stephens, and Edgar beat Stephens, I just finished all three of these guys. [Dana] put on his promoter hat and is like, ‘Listen man, just fight, we’ll work something out,’ and I was like, ‘We don’t need to work anything out. I want Max Holloway or I want the belt.’ [Dana says] ‘Well, we’ll see if we can do an interim belt.’ I’m not fighting for a fake belt. It looks cool but it’s not the real belt. There’s no real money involved with that one. Nothing really goes on in terms of being a champion. You just get something that says, ‘I’m first place.’ It just says I’m next in line for the belt but I’m already here! You just want to put something shiny around my waist to make me feel better. No, I’m not gonna do it. I showed up, I was cutting weight, I did all the media, even the media in Spanish. I had to do double the work and do all that in Spanish. Every fighter left and I’m still stuck there doing everything in Spanish. I showed I was a company man. I was down to promote the hell out of this fight, I took extra hours while I’m hungry, starving, to keep doing media. I showed up. Don’t you think that’s worth something? Even if I didn’t take the fight, I did my end of the deal. Then they came back and said ‘Well our deal is to find you a fight and we found you a fight and you turned it down. I did my job, you didn’t do yours. Your job is to show up and fight.’”

With Holloway not out of action for an undisclosed amount of time, it now leaves both the featherweight division and Ortega in limbo.

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