5 Things You Might Not Know About Brian Ortega

By Guy Portman Dec 6, 2018

UFC 231 is now available on Amazon Prime.

Brian Ortega 14-0 (1 N/C) is an unbeaten fighter who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s featherweight division. For his next appearance, Ortega will challenge the promotion’s champion Max Holloway at UFC 231 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Dec. 08.

As the long-awaited title fight draws closer, here are five things that you might not know about the native of Torrance, California, they call “T-City.”

He likes submissions.

Although Ortega possesses some slick stand-up skills, his preferred method of dispatching his opponents is by submission. To date 7 (50 percent) of his 14 professional MMA wins have come via submission. His favorite hold is the triangle choke. “T-City” has won four of his fights by triangle choke. The highest-profile victim he has forced to succumb with his patented move is Diego Brandao, who he beat at UFC 195, in January 2016. Ortega’s remaining submission victories comprise two by guillotine and one by rear-naked choke.

He is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Considering his penchant for submissions, it is not surprising that he is a black belt in the submission grappling art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the age of 13, Ortega commenced training in the discipline at the famed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Nine years later in 2013, the then 22 year-old earned his black belt. He has said of the achievement, “There’s no greater feeling than reaching my goal.” From a young age, Ortega was earmarked for stardom by his instructors. When he was 18, the burgeoning BJJ phenom appeared in an instructional video for the Gracie Academy, in which he demonstrated a flying triangle.

He used to hang with a bad crowd.

“T-City” spent his formative years growing up in Los Angeles’ San Pedro projects. It was a tough upbringing for the problematic and undisciplined Ortega. As his parents both regularly worked two jobs, they were rarely at home, and the youngster was often left to his own devices. Ortega’s lengthy list of misdemeanours from this period include being expelled from school four times, getting into petty crime and spending time in jail. His troubled homelife was not helped by having two sisters who were struggling with addiction. Today Ortega credits Brazilian jiu-jitsu for teaching him discipline and setting him on the right course in life.

He holds dual nationality.

Although he has spent his entire life in the United States, he also holds Mexican nationality. This is because both his parents hail from Hermosillo, in Mexico’s Sonora State. Ortega’s father initially crossed into the US in search of work. Later he asked his wife, Ortega junior’s mother, to join him there.

He likes to help others.

Ortega is a kind-spirited person who devotes considerable time to assisting those in need. His extensive work in the community has included helping children with cystic fibrosis experience surfing. Other altruistic endeavours have entailed participating in a nationwide tour of children’s hospitals. “T-City” has even set up his own charitable foundation, the Brian Ortega Foundation. Ortega once stated in an interview, “I was down and out, but was lucky enough to have good people come into my life …” Today, his aim is to give back to the community by being a positive influence and providing opportunities for young people, who like he was, are facing adversity.

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