Brian Ortega Defends Decision to Decline Short-Notice Bout at UFC 226: ‘I’m No Yes Man’

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 9, 2018


Brian Ortega spent UFC 226 as a spectator, watching from the stands as Daniel Cormier became the second simultaneous two-division champion in promotion history.

Had things turned out differently, Ortega would have been in the Octagon one bout earlier, squaring off with reigning featherweight king Max Holloway in the evening’s co-main event. Instead, Ortega was left without an opponent after Holloway was pulled from the card during fight week due to concussion-like symptoms.

Ortega reportedly had a chance to remain on the card, as he was offered an interim title fight against Jeremy Stephens on short notice. “T-City” declined that fight, opting to wait for Holloway to return to full health. At the moment, it is unclear when Holloway will be able to defend his 145-pound belt.

Ortega took to Instagram on Sunday to defend his decision.

“I’m a businessman, a company man, but I’m no yes man,” Ortega wrote. “Watching the fights last night knowing I could have been performing for all of you truly took a toll on me. I stand by my decision. Thank you to all of you who showed up to support and respected my decision. For those of you who don’t agree with me I completely understand and promise to give you guys the show of your life when I fight for the title.”

Ortega has won six consecutive fights in the Octagon — all by way of knockout or submission. He last appeared at UFC 222, where he knocked out Frankie Edgar 4:44 into the opening round of their featherweight clash.

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