(This post first appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
Holloway will look to defend the featherweight crown against the rising star at UFC 226, which will go down on July 7th in Las Vegas. The fight will mark the first time Holloway has fought since December, when he took out the legendary Jose Aldo for a second time.
Ortega, meanwhile, has been tapped for the title shot, as a result of his emphatic, stoppage win over Frankie Edgar in March. Initially, Edgar was supposed to fight Holloway, but the champ went down with an injury and Ortega stepped in.
Well, despite the fact that Holloway has now defeated one of the greatest fighters ever in Aldo, not once but twice, and although he’s won 12 straight bouts, “Blessed” isn’t being too brash heading into UFC 226. Case in point, recently he told MMA Junkie the following, while discussing Ortega.
“Back in the day, they used to fight to the death, and that’s what he fights for,” Holloway stated. “He pretty much fights to the death. He fights for the finish. He’s dangerous all the time, he’s dangerous all rounds, so I’ve got to step up my game. I’ve got to be extra focused. He’s fought great competition, but now it’s time to fight the best, and the best is ‘Blessed.’”
“…I can’t wait for fight week and just to go out there and just be able to fight,” Holloway said. “It’s been too long. I just want to get back in there and remind people what era it is. Respect to Ortega, but the best is still ‘Blessed.’”
Yup. There’s no question that Ortega is as dangerous as they come. After all, “T-City” is the first man ever to finish Edgar and Ortega has stopped the last six men he’s faced. Ortega also has never been defeated and is 14-0.
Will Holloway become the first man to defeat Ortega? Or will the latter become the new 145 king on July 7th? It’s for all the reasons that die hard fans are pretty, pretty jacked for UFC 226, which also feature Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic.