Brian Ortega returned to the Octagon after a nearly two-year layoff with perhaps the most complete performance of his UFC career when he defeated “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung by five-round unanimous decision on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Ortega hadn’t fought since losing to former featherweight champion Max Holloway in a memorable title fight back at UFC 231 in December of 2018. The 29-year-old American was an underdog for his main even bout with Jung.
“I was counted out,” Ortega said in his post-fight interview following the win. “I understand, you leave the game for two years, you get counted out. I’m here to remind everyone. It felt great to have this happen again, having your hand raised at this level is important, it’s the No. 1 thing.”
Ortega is a high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and regarded as one of the most dangerous submission artists in mixed martial arts yet it was mostly his vastly improved and dynamic striking that was on display against Jung.
All in all, Ortega outlanded Jung 129-64 in total strikes and secured three of 10 takedown attempts.
THE SPINNING ELBOW
Ortega and Zombie are starting to trade!
— UFC (@ufc) October 18, 2020
Ortega, who decided to cut off his signature lengthy hair and shave his head prior to the fight during a difficult weight cut, was the No. 2-ranked featherweight contender behind Holloway and champion Alex Volkanovski heading into the fight.
UFC president Dana White said prior to the event the winner of Ortega-Jung would get the next shot at Volkanovski, who has defeated Holloway twice in a row by decision – even though the second win at UFC 251 was widely contested by the public and White himself.
There had been talk