A bloodbath. A shellacking. A bludgeoning. However you want to describe Brian Ortega vs. Max Holloway at UFC 231, which took place about 2 years ago, any of these terms might appear.
Ortega appeared to be totally lost against the overwhelming volume and variety of Holloway’s striking, resulting in a KO/TKO victory in Round 4 for the Hawaiian.
Holloway exposed Ortega as a growing prospect, but not ready for the upper echelon of the Featherweight division. A rematch would make some sense in the near future. Holloway has since lost his title in razor-close decisions to current Champion Alexander Volkanovski.
In the Post-event press conference, Ortega addressed a question on this particular subject and said:
“I said this in the beginning, in the very-very beginning when the fight was first set up. We will meet again. He’s gonna stay at the top. He’s not just a guy that’s gonna drop right off the back, and spiral down on his career. I am not a guy that’s just fall off like that, clearly and I showed the world that’s not me.
“So, he’s gonna stay at the top, I’m gonna be in the top, Volkanovski is gonna be in the top. Believe me we’re gonna have rounds with all of us. We’re gonna keep you guys entertained.”
Despite his losses, Holloway has not appeared to be too shop-worn. Ortega has also since re-invented himself and appears ready to take on the entire division once again. A reignited and motivated Ortega is a frightening challenge for any Featherweight. He has now added to his suffocating ground game with a diverse and crisp striking attack. This attack was on full display against The Korean Zombie.
There is the concern that Zombie was a tailor-made opponent for Ortega to bounce back. Jung is known for taking a ton of punishment and still coming forward. Holloway is a different animal entirely. The Hawaiian comes on strong, but adds flawless technique and an ability to adjust as the fight goes on. However, their rematch would certainly answer some questions about where each fighter is in their respective careers. These questions will need to be answered to determine a worthy challenger for Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski.