Brian Ortega says he was compensated by UFC, will wait for title shot and pray for Max Holloway

Brian Ortega says he and Dana White were able to work out a financial arrangement in the aftermath of a scrapped UFC 226 title shot, and all is well between the featherweight finisher and the UFC boss.

Now “T-City” said his attention is solely focused on getting the UFC title, and he’ll fight anyone for it, though he’s hoping it’s against current champ Max Holloway.

“Any fight for the title – that’s it,” Ortega told AXS TV’s Phoenix Carnevale during Friday’s LFA 45 broadcast. “That’s all I’m looking at. I’m just looking at that gold, that belt. For me, it doesn’t matter the opponent.”

Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), of course, was supposed to fight Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) at UFC 226 earlier this month in Las Vegas. However, Holloway was deemed medically unfit to compete and withdrew from the card just three days before the event. UFC officials scrambled to find a replacement, suggesting the hard-hitting Jeremy Stephens could step in and face Ortega for an interim title, but “T-City” and his team didn’t like the idea and ultimately refused the contest.

On a recent episode of “Below The Belt,” Ortega told Brendan Schaub that White wasn’t exactly happy with that decision and initially declined to help offset the cost of the featherweight’s preparation for UFC 226. However, it now seems things have improved since then.

“I’m feeling a lot better now,” Ortega said. “The heartbreak was a little bit real at first, but then once I started to realize the bigger picture and everything – and I had to put my ego aside and put my thinking cap on in terms of businesswise – we made the right decision. I talked to Dana just the other day, and everything is good between me and him. He compensated me – we reached an agreement.”

Ortega’s doesn’t yet know when he’ll fight again. Holloway recently took to social media to explain that he’s getting further tests done now and is still trying to figure out what was behind the concussion-like symptoms that knocked him out of the fight.

Ortega said he’ll wait around to learn of Holloway’s fate. He’s only interested in fighting for a real title, not anything of the interim variety, and he hopes “Blessed” will be back sooner rather than later.

“The goal was for me to go for a title, not to fight a guy who lost to the last three guys that I finished, so it just didn’t make sense to fight for anything else than a belt,” Ortega said. “I put myself in that position by finishing everyone who’s been in front of me, and I’m just going to wait for that and pray for Max because now they’re saying that it’s a possible light stroke, and that’s not a joke. I’ve got prayers on for Max, and he’s ‘Blessed,’ so he’ll come back.

“It doesn’t matter if you call me on one day, two days, that’s never been the issue. But the belt is what I want, and I’m going to wait for it and pray that Max gets better so we can give the fight fans the fight that you guys want to see because I know we missed out for you guys at UFC 226, but we’ll make up for it.”

For complete coverage of UFC 226, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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