Brian Ortega Stands By His Decision Not to Fight at UFC 226

Brian Ortega decided not to face a short notice opponent after featherweight champion Max Holloway fell off the card at UFC 226 and he does not regret that decision.

Brian Ortega is not a man who lives with regrets.

The top ranked featherweight contender was hoping to celebrate a championship this past weekend but instead he was a spectator in the crowd watching UFC 226 along with the rest of the world.

Ortega was originally scheduled to face Max Holloway on Saturday night’s card but the reigning featherweight champion was forced out of the fight due to concussion like symptoms that required him to go to the hospital for treatment.

In the aftermath of Holloway being pulled from the card, the UFC scrambled to find a replacement and lined up top five ranked featherweight Jeremy Stephens to step in to face Ortega on just two days notice.

Ortega and his team declined the fight and opted to wait for Holloway to get healthy instead.

While UFC president Dana White didn’t seem to enjoy that move, Ortega stands by his decision to wait for the featherweight champion to get healthy rather than face a different opponent on 48-hours notice.

“I’m a businessman, a company man, but I’m no yes man,” Ortega wrote on Instagram. “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 is undefeated in his career and has cemented himself as the true No. 1 contender for the featherweight title following wins over both Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar.

Unfortunately there’s still no word on when Holloway will be healthy enough to fight again after he was pulled from the card on Saturday night.

White added that Holloway would be ready to fight again ‘any time soon’ prior to the event as the featherweight champion continues to seek advice from physicians on what exactly went wrong in the lead up to his fight.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.

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