UFC Fight Night 123: Brian Ortega ready for Cub Swanson in Fresno

TORRANCE, Calif. — Brian Ortega knows he has to keep ‘climbing up the ladder’ in the world of UFC.

The 26-year-old from Los Angeles will face Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno on Dec. 9.

Ortega, currently ranked the No. 6 featherweight by the UFC, knows beating Swanson, ranked fourth, will open more doors for him.

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“This is a game where you need to have a high name. I feel like, with this fight, it can put me on the map as one of the elite of the elite,” said Ortega. “Anyone who’s in the Top 3 is always getting a lot of publicity. Ultimately, I feel like I’m doing everything right. I’m slowly but surely climbing up the ladder. I’m taking out bigger names with every fight. Not just beating them on a point level, I’m finishing every single one of my opponents.

“I beat Cub, the world will know who I am.”

Ortega, 5-foot-8, 145 pounds, attributes an intense training camp with his crew at the Gracie Academy as they key to his success.

“If I get beat up like this in training camp, the fight’s not going to be that bad,” Ortega said. “Mentally, you know what it’s like to suffer and get hurt for that long. Worse comes to worse, you’re getting out classed like nothing. At least you can survive and be in there and not get knocked out and not get finished vs. people who are not familiar with facing these circumstances. They’ll break, mentally first then physically second.

“My whole thing is I don’t want to break mentally. I want to find comfort in uncomfortable situations.”

Oretega, undefeated in 12 career UFC fights including victories at UFC 199 at The Forum and UFC 214 at Honda Center, feels he’s marketable to a larger crowd than other fighters in the business.

“I think I’m pretty marketable when it comes to marketing fighters cause I’ve met a lot of em and they’re not that interesting,” he said.  “They don’t do too many things or their days are not like my days. My life, I’ve come to realize, is different from theirs.
Where I come from, it’s pretty normal. But when you step outside of that world … it’s different.”

As long as Ortega keeps his eyes on the prize, he knows things will work out in his favor.

“From what I’ve heard, if I keep winning and doing what I’m doing, it’s going to be good,” he added. “I love the title of the silent killer. I just keep to myself. I’m just a different person. I understand this a game where we have to let the world who we are. And we have to sell ourselves.

“But, for me, there’s just a certain point where you sell yourself or you’re just letting the world know you you are. I want to let them know who I am. And I know what I’m worth. And I don’t feel like I should try too hard.”

“I am who I am, I’m a cool person, and I don’t think I need to sell myself. I’m just going to let the fights keep talking. That’s the only way I can show everyone I deserve this shot.”