The truth is, Brian Ortega has never been eager to face Yair Rodriguez, but with a contract inked, he is hoping for a total barnburner. For Brian Ortega, saying the fight was one he did not want because of his Mexican heritage, he admitted that he did not expect the battle to take place. Brian Ortega believes he has good reason for his fight against fellow featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez on top of UFC on Long Island. According to El Pantera, Yair Rodriguez gets the shot at the featherweight title if he gets by hard-hitting submission specialist Brian Ortega on UFC Long Island.

If Brian Ortega defeats Yair Rodriguez, the former title contender may be a fight or two away from competing for the UFC featherweight championship for the third time. A victory against Brian Ortega puts Yair Rodriguez squarely into the discussion to compete for the UFC featherweight title. With Rodriguez and Brian Ortega looking to go the distance, a bout between them on July 16 is guaranteed to produce fireworks. Four of Ortega’s fifteen octagon victories have been by triangle choke. Given how much jiu-jitsu has influenced both his profession and his life, it’s fair that Ortega has a nickname tied to the submission. Rener Gracie’s support is likely to have kept Brian Ortega from contending for another championship opportunity. Gracie, who started training Ortega when he was a teenager, definitely saw immense promise in his student.

While the attention on Yair Rodriguez remains focused on Brian Ortega Saturday, Rodriguez was highly impressed by what defending champ Alexander Volkanovski did in the trilogy against Holloway; The Australian dominated the bout in perhaps one of his best performances to date, winning by a decision on the ground. Brian Ortega sets his love of Yair Rodriguez aside for a night, hoping the pair can deliver a stunning performance honouring their shared Mexican roots, recalling the famous Mexican trilogy of Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales, which produced some of the most storied matches in sports history. Making does not necessarily mean such a push will be entirely justified, though, considering that Yair Rodriguez (13-3) is just 2-2 with a single no-contest over his past five bouts, and he comes into this Ortega fight fresh off of his unanimous decision loss to former champ Max Holloway last November.

What Yair Rodriguez (13-3) also believes is only a matter of time is for him and Ortega, who are friendly off the octagon, to have the opportunity to match their fantastic stylistic clashes against each other in a highly-hyped bout. Having been through this experience, Rodriguez (15-2 MMA) said it made things easier when he was cordial to Ortega.