Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega and Yair ‘La Pantera’ Rodriguez are being linked to face off later this year according to Ariel Helwani.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 15, 2022
Brian Ortega (15-2) is coming off a loss to UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in a fight of the year contender at UFC 266 in September of last year. Ortega, 30, is currently ranked second in the division having recorded high profile wins against ‘Korean Zombie’ Chang Sung Jung, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, and Cub Swanson. His two losses come against arguable two of the best featherweights in history, in a 2018 loss to Max Holloway and as mentioned Alexander Volkanovski.
Yair Rodriguez (13-3-1) is currently third in the division and also is coming off a loss to the former champion, Max Holloway in another fight of the year nominee. At 29, he also holds high profile wins against ‘Korean Zombie’, BJ Penn, Dan Hooker and Jeremy Stephens. His losses have come against Holloway and Frankie Edgar.
Ortega vs Rodriguez is on paper a fight of the year contender given their styles of fighting.
Brian Ortega is known for his prolific submission ability having 7 of his 15 wins by way of tap out. Most recently he has become a higher quality striker having highlighted striking affairs against ‘Korean Zombie’ and Volkanovski.
Rodriguez however is the more skilled and accomplished striker as evident in his phenomenal knockout of the year in 2018 against ‘Korean Zombie’. Rodriguez, however, has shown skill in submission wins having three submission wins coming by rear naked choke, triangle choke and an armbar.
Both men have high endurance as evident in their fights with Max Holloway, they can go through five full rounds of punishment and never stay out in the fight on the most part.
What each man has lacked however is consistent activity. Ortega, having two fights since his loss to Holloway in 2018, and Rodriguez, having three since 2018 with one of them being a no-contest against his first fight with Jeremy Stephens.
They both are fan favorites with their Latin fan bases as both represent their Mexican heritage proudly.