Say this much for Brian Ortega: he doesn’t shy away from the biggest challenges the sport has to offer. Ortega is hoping to have his hand raised on Saturday night when he takes on Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight king Max Holloway at UFC 231 in Toronto, and if he succeeds there, he has his sights set on arguably the most dominant and feared champion in the sport, lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Ortega (14-0, 1 N/C) heads into his bout against Holloway undefeated in his professional career beating the likes of Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano to earn himself a title shot. At a UFC 231 media event in Los Angeles on Monday, Ortega said he’d be interested in a superfight against another undefeated fighter in Nurmagomedov if he were to dethrone Holloway on Saturday (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“You look at some of these guys who make superfights,” Ortega said. “And you’re like, damn, I wish I was a part of that fight. I like superfights. I want superfights. I want guys that I can match up well where people don’t know what going to happen.
“Every grappler, we have this since even before I was training, this whole wrestler vs. jiu-jitsu,” Ortega continued. “We get along in the gym and we’re always like, you know, this is a matchup. Our hands are both good. He’s a top game guy and a wrestler and I’m a bottom game guy and a jiu-jitsu guy.”
The 27-year-old said he was a keen observer of the fight at UFC 229 between Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor and said he saw things during the fight that he would have done differently if he were given the chance to fight the Russian.
“I was watching a lot of things in that fight, where, if I was in that position, there’s a lot of things I’d be doing differently,” Ortega said. “And that kind of just made me realize, kind of just, what I want is a superfight, if I ever get there, and it’s within reach. If I play my cards right, it’s within reach. “I’ve got these ideas I want to go for, if I’m successful hopefully I can start asking Dana White for them,” said Ortega.