It’s been nearly two years since we last saw UFC featherweight Brian Ortega in the octagon. Ortega (14-1) was one of the brightest emerging stars in the UFC. Racking up an impressive 6 fight win streak, he would go on to challenge then Champion Max Holloway.
A flashy submission specialist, Ortega has shown he is equally adept in the stand-up department. A spectacular KO led him to become the first fighter to finish the legend that is Frankie Edgar. Looking ahead to his upcoming fight with the Korean Zombie, here are 5 interesting things about Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega.
Brian Ortega has a unique nickname
Back in 2016, Ortega was coming off a spectacular submission win over Diego Brandao. In an interview with MMA media, he spoke about his win but also revealing how he earned his nickname.
“It comes from Rener Gracie’” Ortega told the reporter. “He gave it to me when I was about 15 years old because I was the smallest guy in the academy. Just a little kid and I would just throw my legs up in the air and choke everyone out with the triangle.”
He went on to finish, “One time we went bowling and you know how you put your name on the bowling screen he put triangle city, and then I just made it smaller to T-City”
Student of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Ortega started training jiu-jitsu at the early age of 13. He would join the famed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy, and even at a young age, they could see he was something special. Ortega earned his black belt at the age of 22 by Rener Gracie in December 2013.
Ortega trains under Rorion Gracie, the oldest son of Helio Gracie. When he was 18, T-City appeared in an instructional video for the Gracie Academy, demonstrating a flying triangle.
Ortega continues to showcase his sensational talent in the UFC. He has submitted the likes of Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, and Diego Brandao in the octagon.
Comes from a rough past
Brian Ortega didn’t have the easiest childhoods. Coming from the San Pedro projects in Los Angeles, Ortega would end up with the wrong crowd.
‘T-City’ was not the well behaved professional we see today. Ortega notes that he was a bit of a problematic child and lacking any discipline. With both of his parents working long hour jobs, they were rarely at home, leaving Ortega to develop some bad habits.
Having been expelled from school four times, he was also got caught for petty crimes, even spending some time in jail. Ortega credits Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for teaching him discipline, which set him on the right course in life.
First fighter to finish Frankie Edgar
Although Ortega is a submission specialist, he is not afraid to stand and trade. In early March 2018, Brian Ortega created some history.
He became the first fighter to ever finish the legendary Frankie Edgar. Ortega would finish the fight late in the first round by TKO. Ortega landed a devastating elbow to finish the legend in the co-main event of UFC 222.
Edgar, who had 27 fights until that point, had never been finished in his career. By doing so, not only did T-City become the first fighter to finish Edgar, but he would also take Frankie’s #1 spot and go on to fight Max Holloway for the Featherweight Title.
Read: UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs The Korean Zombie- Brian Ortega vs Chan Sung Jung: Prediction and Analysis
Kindness and Charity
Ortega has evolved into a kind-spirited individual. T-City spends a lot of his free time assisting those less fortunate and in need.
Ortega has focused on helping the youth in the community and visited a large number of hospitals. ‘T-City’ has even set up his charitable foundation, the Brian Ortega Foundation. Ortega has been known to look out for those less fortunate. “I was down and out, but was lucky enough to have good people come into my life,” Ortega once mentioned.
Ortega with the new look! ✂️@BrianTCity makes 146 for Saturday night’s main event.
— UFC (@ufc) October 16, 2020
Ortega aims at being a positive influence and providing opportunities to the youth while giving back to charity. Yesterday, T-City shaved off his hair at the weigh-in for his upcoming main event with the Korean Zombie, pledging to donate it to charity.
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