LOS ANGELES — Maybe the “T” in T-City stands for Tinseltown.
Brian Ortega said Monday that he’ll be gone for three months after UFC 231 filming a movie in Texas and Thailand. The Los Angeles native said he’ll be in the lead role of the action film, but couldn’t give many more details.
“It’s a movie that I signed with,” Ortega said at a media lunch. “I don’t know. I’ve gotta check, but I think I’ll be the first UFC fighter in history to have the lead role in a big movie. … I didn’t really talk to the producer yet, so I don’t really know what I can say or what I can’t say.”
Ortega will challenge Max Holloway for the UFC featherweight title Saturday at UFC 231 in Toronto. The two men were supposed to fight at UFC 226 back in July, but Holloway withdrew due to concussion-like symptoms three days prior to the event.
Win or lose, Ortega, 27, plans to be very busy after the fight. “T-City” said he’ll take two weeks off and then get back to work, hitting the road to film this new movie. In addition to that, Ortega has his foundation, which has set out to give scholarships to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu for underprivileged youth. He said he has also been working on doing hospital visits to hang out with kids dealing with illnesses and bring them gifts.
Ortega (14-0, 1 NC), an undefeated star in MMA, sees himself as more than just a fighter.
“I don’t look like a fighter,” Ortega said. “I like it though, because it just allows me to be in the position I am now to where I can venture out to wherever I want to go. I can go into acting, I can go into this, I can go different ways now. And because of fighting, I can do that. I just like it. I like the ability, almost like a chameleon, right? Put on a camera and put on some whatever and you’re an actor. Put me in a cage, I’m a fighter. Put me somewhere else — I’m in an ocean, I’m a surfer. I don’t know what I am, I just do it all. And I want to be good at everything.”
Ortega seems particularly excited about this “big” movie role, which he can’t talk too much about just yet.
“We’re doing something cool,” he said.