Brain Ortega is ‘definitely not fighting’ at UFC 226, manager says

There will be no featherweight title fight at UFC 226.

Brian Ortega‘s manager Ed Soares informed the media the undefeated Los Angeles native will not be fighting on Saturday’s card in Las Vegas despite an attempt to find a last-minute opponent.

Ortega (14-0) was supposed to challenge featherweight champion Max Holloway in the co-main event, but Holloway was forced to withdraw after being hospitalized with concussion-like symptoms Wednesday night. During Thursday’s press conference, UFC president Dana White was not optimistic about seeing Lil Heathen back in the octagon anytime soon.

While Holloway was certainly off the card, there was speculation UFC would find a replacement fighter to face Oretga, potentially for an interim title. One challenger in particular was aggressively pursuing an opportunity to fill the spot, Jeremy Stephens, White said. Stephens has spent several months publicly challenging T-City, but Ortega has avoided the matchup in pursuit of a shot at a title fight.

UFC 226: Holloway out with concussion like symptoms; Ortega’s card status uncertain

With Holloway’s status unclear and White’s predicted timetable, a UFC 227 card featuring Ortega-Holloway at the Staples Center, a homecoming for Ortega, August 4 also seems unlikely.