Brian Ortega is processing his loss to Yair Rodríguez at UFC Long Island this past Saturday.
The much-anticipated fight between Ortega and Rodríguez ended after ’T-City’ dislocated his shoulder in the first round, awarding ‘El Pantera’ the TKO win. Though the dislocation happened as Ortega escaped an armbar, he denied that was the cause of his injury.
Ortega spoke to Megan Olivi during the post-fight show and tried to explain what happened.
“The grip was tight on my arm and it dislocated, and that was it,” said Ortega. “Like, no armlock, no nothing, but it just dislocated. Freak accident, and it just sucks. It’s the first time it’s ever happened in my entire career. That’s the first time it’s even happened and now I’m kind of like taken aback by it. I can’t believe this is what’s going on right now.”
The No. 2 ranked contender also assessed his performance. The way Ortega saw it, he was winning.
“Everything was going my way,” said Ortega. “Literally, I was winning every minute of the fight. I was sticking to the game plan because I do get emotional. For one second we started hitting, we started throwing and I was like, ‘Alright, let’s start throwing,’ and I go, ‘No, let’s just stick to the game plan.’ And the world saw I was about to show what I do best, which is grapple and take control. And the second we hit the ground, it just — my freaking arm just f—king came out. And I’ve got no words, man. I don’t know.”
Ortega expressed interest in a rematch against Rodríguez, who was more than happy to fight again. However, the 31-year-old could be sidelined for a while should he require surgery on his shoulder.
“I would love to do it again,” said Ortega. “I feel like we left the world with blue balls, you know? We didn’t get to finish what I wanted to do, you know? Had he got up, how we scrambled, how we banged it out — I was ready in my mind to have a dogfight. I was ready to go in there and just impose my will, and I can’t do it with just one arm.
“If he said he’s willing to run it back, I definitely want to get it back,” continued Ortega. “I’m going to go MRI this as soon as I can, do what I have to do. I pray to God that I don’t have to get surgery. I already had two shoulder surgeries as it, so I’m praying that I don’t have to go under that knife again because it sucks when you have to get surgery. The second I’m physically healthy to do it, I want to get back in. I’m not trying to take anything off. I’m upset, but trying to smile just to not — I put in way too much work. I sacrificed everything just for something stupid like this to happen.”
With Ortega potentially out, UFC president Dana White ‘liked’ an interim championship fight between Rodríguez and Josh Emmett in the meantime.