Brian Ortega has faced highs and lows against some of the best featherweights on the planet. Most would have folded, but Ortega has been fighting his entire life, starting with a rough childhood that included moments like when a five-year-old Ortega and his father were shot at with a gun.
Ortega's next fight will be against Yair Rodriguez on Saturday, July 15, in the main event of UFC on ABC 3. During the buildup to the event, 'T-City' opened up about the significant impact his father has had on his life. The California native told a brief story during his UFC Journey episode about growing up around violence. He stated:
"[My father] is the most humble man, who is deserving of so much. He taught me how to survive my whole life. I got shot at with my dad when I was five years old. People, at that time, if you looked a certain way, would try to fight you. Me, naturally, I had that look. The best thing he could do at that time was coach me how to survive."
Ortega is coming off a tough loss against Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC featherweight championship. Although he was ultimately defeated, 'T-City' showed flashes of brilliance, including a mounted guillotine that almost took Volkanovski out. With a win against Rodriguez, the California native will likely be within striking distance of another title shot.
Watch Brian Ortega discuss his violent childhood below:
Brian Ortega's jiu-jitsu coach, Rener Gracie, details when 'T-City' started training
At 31 years old, 'T-City' has been training jiu-jitsu for nearly 20 years. During the same UFC Journey episode, Ortega's jiu-jitsu coach, Rener Gracie, told a story about the California native's first days of training:
"He was 13 years old. Brian had just gotten beat up in a streetfight on his front lawn. His dad had seen the early UFC's with my Uncle Royce, so the dad brought him in. They signed up for the whole year, paid upfront. He trained for a whole year. Still didn't say a word for the whole first year—not one actual word out of his mouth."
Ortega has a massive opportunity waiting at UFC on ABC 3. Despite losing his last fight, Rodriguez looked impressive against Max Holloway. 'T-City' is in a division that lacks title contenders, and a win against 'El Pantera' would be the statement he needs.