This weekend sees the UFC return of former UFC Featherweight title challenger Brian Ortega, as he faces ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC Fight Island 6. Ortega has not fought since December 2018 but will be hoping to get back onto the winning track here.
One of the most exciting and popular fighters in the UFC’s 145lbs division, Ortega has become renowned for having one of the most dangerous submission games in MMA. But he’s not just a grappler. T-City is also capable of turning the lights out on any opponent he faces.
With a total of seven UFC wins to his name, he’s had some seriously memorable Octagon finishes since his debut back in 2014. Here are five of his best.
#5 Brian Ortega vs. Diego Brandao – UFC 195, 01/02/2016
After returning from a suspension to defeat veteran Thiago Tavares in the summer of 2015, Ortega was faced with his next challenge at UFC 195 in the form of Diego Brandao. Ceara was renowned for his wild aggression, knockout power, and venomous ground game, and he’d won the Featherweight tournament on the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
This was clearly Ortega’s trickiest test to date, and in the first two rounds, it looked like it was Brandao who had the advantage. Not only did the Brazilian land some hard strikes on Ortega, but he also landed more than one takedown and did some damage with his elbows, too.
Ortega remained calm throughout, though, despite being under a lot of fire. And when Brandao got a little too wild in one of his takedown attempts, T-City sensed his opportunity. Grabbing onto a front headlock, Ortega snapped the Brazilian down into an anaconda choke, and when that failed, he was able to gain full mount and switch to a guillotine choke.
A high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in his own right, Brandao also avoided the guillotine. However, he found himself caught in a tight triangle choke instead and was forced to tap out.
By submitting such a strong grappler, Ortega had sent a serious message to the rest of the UFC’s Featherweights. And more to the point, by showing off his excellent triangle choke again, it was easy to see what the T in T-City stood for.
#4 Brian Ortega vs. Clay Guida – UFC 199, 06/04/2016
After his win over Diego Brandao, Ortega’s next test came against perennial contender and longtime UFC veteran Clay Guida. Never a tremendous finisher, The Carpenter instead promised to test Ortega’s cardio, resolve, and defensive skills by pushing a torrid pace from the off.
Early on, at least, it looked like Ortega would wilt. Just moments into the first round, he found himself knocked down by a glancing punch. And while he was able to quickly recover, he couldn’t get a handle on Guida’s wild movement and found himself eating far more shots than he could land himself.
Ortega appeared to have more of a grasp of Guida’s style in the second round, but he still struggled. The veteran’s consistent pressure was clearly forcing him onto the back foot, even if he did land some cleaner shots and was able to defend a little better.
In the third round, though, it looked like Guida had the edge again. Sure, Ortega attempted to land some good offense, but The Carpenter was able to absorb it all and return fire while also staying on his back foot. With 20 seconds remaining, it looked like the fight would go to the scorecards with Guida’s hand about to be raised.
Ortega had other ideas, though. He backed Guida into the fence – and then lunged forward with a knee that connected directly to the veteran’s jaw. The Carpenter was sent crashing to the ground, and one follow-up punch was all that was needed to finish the fight.
Not only was the win Ortega’s first clean knockout, but it was also only the second time Guida had ever been stopped by strikes in his career. This was a phenomenal finish that proved that T-City wasn’t just a grappler – he was a ruthless striker, too.