Top UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega's coach Rener Gracie was unable to corner "T-City" on Saturday night at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi but he kept an eye on the proceedings and couldn't be happier with the performance his star-pupil displayed inside the cage in the main event of UFC Fight Island 6.
For the uninitiated, Rener Gracie is a very well-known Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach and member of the world-renowned Gracie family, and he was unable to accompany Brian Ortega for the latter's crucial featherweight scrap against "The Korean Zombie" after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. However, even though he was stoked about not being able to be at Brian Ortega's corner for the fight, Gracie was blown away with his pupil's performance and he took to Twitter to express his happiness.
Gracie said he even requested the UFC doctors to let him be at Ortega's corner for the fight but he wasn't allowed to since Abu Dhabi has a "zero tolerance" policy for positive COVID-19 tests. Gracie has been working with Brian Ortega since the latter was in his teenage and taught Ortega the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, having gone on to corner him for all of his pro fights, until the most recent one.
"At first, Brian thought I was joking, because I tested negative already twice in the last two weeks," Gracie said. "And I wasn't. Of course, he's super bummed. But I assured him, I said 'Brian, luckily this skill set that I bring to the table that I coached you for over 15 years in is the most ingrained in you of all your skill sets in fighting. It's the one that you least need coaching on.' So, if anyone has to stay behind, it should be me."
Brian Ortega put up a flawless display of striking as well as grappling during the fight against Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Island 6, completely outclassing his opponent over the five scheduled rounds and getting his hand raised by a lopsided unanimous decision win, earning a shot at the featherweight title in the process.Published 19 Oct 2020, 00:36 IST