Brian Ortega knew he had to fix his ways after the devastating loss to Max Holloway at UFC 231.
In Brian Ortega's own words, the fight with Max Holloway showed him the chinks in his armor as clear as daylight. He also looked over the issues he was having with his team. Several members were 'switching up' on him, per what he told MMA Junkie in a 2019 interview.
Going up against 'Blessed' in December 2018, Ortega was brutally outclassed. Max Holloway landed 290 significant strikes during the clash. The ringside doctors declared Ortega unable to continue at the end of the fourth round, and Max Holloway was declared the winner via doctor's stoppage.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Brian Ortega revealed how losing to Max Holloway made him look at his fighting style and re-evaluate it, helping him become the better fighter he is now:
"It was. That was the best thing about it. It showed me that there's a flaw in your system, so now we had to fix that. It's something you don't see when you're winning, but the fact that you saw and noticed that there's flaw in the system... and luckily I was able to have a team - a new one - surround me and help me kind of cover all those holes and guide me now on the right track. I feel great."
Injuries from the bout and other issues kept Brian Ortega out of the octagon for nearly two years. He utilized this time to not only get back on his feet, but also to rebuild his team and hone his fighting skills.
Brian Ortega: I feel like I'm finally learning how to fight more
Brian Ortega also commented on how things have changed for him now, as compared to before the Max Holloway fight:
"I feel like I am finally learning how to fight more, you know. I feel like before, I was kind of just stuck in my old ways and 'if it ain't broken, don't fix it' and stuck with the mentality of the team that was there, versus now, where it's like, 'Hey, we have to constantly evolve and if you're not learning and losing, then you're not doing your job', which is great."
"Because before I was like, if you're losing, you're a piece of sh*t, versus now, it's like 'We want you frustrated, we want you to not understand this, we want you to be frustrated at the gym and have these sh**ty days where you have no idea what you're doing, and then watch two months down the road, you're flowing with everything you had no idea you could do not that long ago. And you're growing."
After going through 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung with a clinical performance, Brian Ortega is set to challenge for the title once again. He is going up against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 260 on March 27, 2021, as per Ariel Helwani.
Brian Ortega said with conviction that whoever wins the fight will have to face Max Holloway next. Holloway is currently placed no. 1 in the division after a brilliant show against Calvin Kattar.