Brian Ortega Explains Last-Minute Withdrawal from UFC 303 Fight vs. Diego Lopes

Brian Ortega Explains Last-Minute Withdrawal from UFC 303 Fight vs. Diego Lopes
zach bacharContributor IJuly 3, 2024

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 28: Brian Ortega poses on the scale during the UFC 303 ceremonial weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on June 28, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Brian Ortega released a statement on Wednesday that explained his decision to withdraw just before his clash with Diego Lopes at UFC 303.

Ortega mentioned that he “felt off” during the week leading up to the fight and was also battling a fever.

“I could not keep any food or water down nor could I stand up to use the restroom,” the statement said. “I struggled with my own ego, got on a call with Tiki and Hunter, and I made the decision to call off the fight. I dared to do something crazy for the love of fighting, but I got sick and my body gave out on me.”

MMA Fighting @MMAFighting

Brian Ortega released a statement about his UFC 303 withdrawal on Instagram.

Dan Ige stepped in to replace Ortega mere hours before the fight, although Lopes ended up with a victory.

The fight went the distance before Lopes ended up winning by unanimous decision. He earned his fourth straight win on Saturday, improving his overall record to 25-6-0.

The fight between Ortega and Lopes was changed to a lightweight bout from a featherweight contest, as Ortega couldn’t get down to 146 pounds. He mentioned that his sickness was part of the reason why he was unable to cut down in his statement on Wednesday, explaining that he “could not break into the final 5 lbs as my body started to shut down.”

“Rather than risking huge health consequences and possibly calling the fight off, thankfully we were able to move the weight to 155,” he said.

Despite Ortega’s decision to withdraw, Lopes revealed that he’s still open to facing the 33-year-old and teased a potential bout at the Sphere in Las Vegas.

“If the UFC can actually reschedule that fight against Brian Ortega, I’ll be very happy,” Lopes said, via Nolan King and Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie. “If they can reschedule that for the Sphere, even happier.”

While the initial UFC 303 co-main event ended up changing, Lopes and Ortega could still face off against each other in the Octagon at a later date.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *