Brian Ortega pitched a shutout against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 180 on Saturday, earning himself a featherweight title shot in the process.
All three judges scored the main event bout 50-45 for Ortega, who looked fresh and dominant against Jung throughout the 25-minute fight.
Ortega Looking Forward to Shot at Volkanovski
UFC president Dana White declared prior to the fight that the winner will get the next shot at Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight belt. Ortega (15-1) has fought for the title before. His last fight prior to Saturday was a 2008 loss to then featherweight champion Max Holloway, which ended in a doctor’s stoppage after the fourth round.
“We’re gonna find out if I’m ready,” Ortega said after his win. “In this game, you take chances. You don’t grow in the comfort zone. Alex Volkanovski, you’re the champ. The thought of fighting you is exciting.”
Jung (16-6) had his moments throughout the fight, and continued to come forward in the final minutes, but Ortega simply showed too much for there to be any doubt about the decision.
“This is the first time I actually stuck to a game plan,” Ortega said afterward. “Usually, I abort [the] game plan, but we never really had one to begin with, we’d kinda make a semi one up.”
McGregor Claims Jan. 23 Date with Poirier
Conor McGregor says he’s agreed to fight against Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23, though there has been no confirmation that such a fight will actually take place. In a tweet, McGregor suggested a venue for the fight as well.
I accept, Jan 23rd is on!
My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium. Proper Style! Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans!
Then Manny. #McGregorSportsandEntertainment
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 14, 2020
“My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy Stadium,” McGregor tweeted. “Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans!”
Poirier told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that the UFC has yet to contact him about the proposed fight. McGregor has been angling for the matchup – which he initially pitched as a charity exhibition – in part as a warmup for a potential boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.
Two Fighters Out of UFC 254
Fight Island in Abu Dhabi will host UFC 254 on Saturday, but as has become commonplace in 2020, two athletes have already backed out of the event.
Cynthia Calvillo tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, according to sources cited by ESPN. Those results forced her out of her flyweight matchup against Lauren Murphy. Liliya Shakirova will take Calvillo’s place. Murphy now stands as a -300 favorite over Shakirova (+235) at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Also out is Umar Nurmagomedov, who is suffering from a staph infection. The undefeated Nurmagomedov – cousin and teammate of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov – was on the UFC 254 early preliminaries against Sergey Morozov. Khabib took to social media to tell fans that the infection forced his cousin to be hospitalized. The UFC has not announced a new opponent for Morozov.