Brian Ortega is already looking towards the future after his loss at UFC 266, but first he’ll have to recover from the damage done in his five-round war against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Over the course of 25 minutes, Ortega absorbed a whopping 214 significant strikes including 146 head strikes and 20 to the body, which accounts for the injuries suffered during the fight.
“Fractured orbital and some bruised ribs,” Ortega revealed when addressing his injuries in a post made to Instagram. “Once this orbital heals, I’ll be ready to chuck em again! I meant what I said … I love you guys!”
While Ortega definitely took the lion’s share of the punishment during the course of the fight, he still nearly pulled off the upset against the reigning champion at 145 pounds.
In the third round, Ortega latched onto a guillotine choke before falling into the mount, which gave him the perfect position to lock up the submission. Volkanovski admitted that the choke was extremely deep and could have ended the fight just a few seconds longer.
“It was, ‘Oh, f*ck, I’m about to lose the belt deep,’” Volkanovski said on The MMA Hour. “But the type of human being I am, we talk about me going through adversity, always being prepared and busting my ass, never give up attitude and all that sh*t.”
Later that same round, Ortega nearly wrapped up a triangle choke as well but once again Volkanovski found a way to survive before dishing out more damage with his ground-and-pound attack.
When final horn sounded, all three judges scored the fight for Volkanovski, but Ortega still walked away with a $50,000 bonus for Fight of the Night as well as respect earned from the featherweight champion.
While there’s no exact timeline for Ortega to return, a fractured orbital bone by itself can take several weeks or even months to heal properly.