Brian Ortega Breaks Silence on Pulling Out Last-Second: “I was battling a fever”

Brian Ortega explains why he pulled on fight night.

by Aryan Lakhani
Brian Ortega Breaks Silence on Pulling Out Last-Second: “I was battling a fever”
© Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The top UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega had a daunting fight week, he accepted a fight with Diego Lopes on 15 days short notice. Ortega had to go through massive weight cuts and in the process his body didn’t acclimatize that well which subsequently led to a high fever on the day of the fight.

In spite of persisting in his maximum capacity, he could hold no longer and called hunter Campbell and informed him about his withdrawal from the event. That’s how Dan Ige was bought into the equation. Brian Ortega has noble intentions coming into the fight, he was looking forward to donating $100,000 to a church.

Brian Ortega on his health issues

In a recent post, Brian Ortega took the time to address the reason behind his last-minute withdrawal.

“I was 178 pounds when I accepted this fight on 15 days’ notice. Thursday night after seven straight hours, I could not break 151 pounds. Later, I would find out that I was battling a fever and I could not break into the final five pounds 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. At weigh-ins, I still felt off but I was sure it would go away after I rehydrated and ate”.

Brian Ortega on calling off the fight

“Later on that night, I still felt off and was suffering from cold sweats and no sleep, Finally, I feel asleep at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and woke up at 1 p.m. hoping to feel better.

I could not keep any food or water down nor could I stand up to use the restroom. I struggled with my own ego, got on a call with Tiki [Ghosn] and Hunter [Campbell], 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. I want to give the fans and my opponents my best performance every time I step into the cage”.