Brian Ortega puts on a striking masterclass on his UFC return
Right from the start, Brian Ortega looked like a new and improved version of himself, showing patience and using plenty of feints, low leg kicks and stinging jabs to keep the Korean Zombie at bay.
Early in the first round, Ortega switched stances as it seemed that his lead leg suffered some damage due to checking his opponent's kicks. However, this did not affect him one bit as he continued with his clinical and precise striking.
Near the end of the round, Ortega caught one of Jung’s kicks and hit him with a fierce left hand dropping him and effectively sealing the round he was already winning.
Round 2 was much of the same and while Jung had his moments, Ortega just seemed two steps ahead of him in every exchange. Ortega tried to level change here but Jung stuffed his takedown. The most significant event of the fight took place towards the end of the round when Jung attempted to rush in but Ortega saw him coming in and perfectly landed a spinning back elbow dropping the Zombie. Ortega then went ahead and landed a few clean strikes from the top before a groggy Jung got back up to his feet only to get taken down again by Ortega. The patience Ortega displayed here was incredible.
Round 3 was again the same story with the Zombie looking more confused with each passing minute as Ortega started using oblique kicks to the knee of Jung a la Yoel Romero, and started feigning more takedowns by grabbing his leg. The Zombie again had his moments with nice crisp jabs in the middle and towards the end of the round but again, he seemed to be chasing the fight.
The Zombie started Round 4 aggressively knowing very well that he was way behind on the scorecard but was promptly slowed by a marauding Ortega with a big left hand a few seconds into the second minute.
Towards the end of the second minute, Ortega shot for another takedown and a collision of heads resulted in a cut for Jung. Ortega pushed him against the fence and landed a clean right hand before finishing up with an elbow on the break. More oblique kicks and jabs followed as Ortega ended another dominant round trying for but not completing a takedown.
The fight story repeated itself in the 5th and final round and while towards the end of the round Jung started to unload more freely and carelessly, Ortega easily weathered the storm for a crushing victory.
Unanimous decision win for Ortega, 50-45 across all three judges’ scorecards.
Brian Ortega next in line to face Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Title
In the post-fight interview, Ortega thanked all the UFC fans who stood by him after his loss to Max Holloway.
When asked about his change of fighting style, he commented that to remain relevant in the UFC he needed to change himself completely and so he did it while being away from the UFC.
On the topic of fighting Volkanovski, he commented that “In the UFC you need to take chances. You cannot proceed if you do not take chances. Ready or not I am next in line for Volkanovski”
The UFC Featherweight title bout now seems like a can't-miss affair with a much more well-rounded Brian Ortega in the picture.Published 18 Oct 2020, 08:04 IST