Brian Ortega tells his fellow fighters to just be themselves, instead of desperately trying to mimic Conor McGregor.
Brian Ortega isn’t exactly know for his flamboyance or trash talk, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Speaking to MMA Junkie in a recent interview, the top-ranked contender discussed the Conor McGregor effect; how fighters are trying to copy the Irishman’s style and go to extreme measures to promote themselves and stand out from the crowd.
Colby Covington, for one, is desperately trying to promote his own brand by calling out everyone from Brazilians to Star Wars fans. Dillon Danis, teammate of McGregor, has also come under fire from Michael Bisping for being a ‘second-hand, overwashed, hand-me-down’ version of ‘The Notorious’.
And while Ortega didn’t mention any specific names, the 27-year-old told some of his fellow fighters to stop ‘fronting’ and putting on an act.
“There’s only one Conor,” Ortega said. “Everybody who’s tried to be like Conor, you can tell they’re just fronting. “You can easily see, you can tell by the way the go in there – you’re just like, ‘Come on. Shut up.’”
Ortega, who is gearing up to challenge Max Holloway for the featherweight title at UFC 226, is happy to just be himself in front of the cameras and has no intention of sacrificing his principles for extra PPV buys.
“For me, I’m just me,” he said. “That’s what I realized the best thing to be is. When I talk to people, they’re like, especially getting into the sport, (they’re like), ‘Oh, you’ve got to be a character. You’ve got to be this.’ And my coach told – and I don’t know if I can cuss or not – but he goes, ‘F-ck that.’ He’s like, ‘Just be you, bro. You don’t have to lie on the thing. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to remember some thing you made up before.’ He goes, ‘Just be you, and you can’t go wrong with being you.’
“So that’s what we did, and I’m happy I stuck to it, man. Because I’m just me. If I ever get pissed off, I’m legitimately pissed off. So far it hasn’t happened.”
UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier will feature Holloway vs. Ortega as the co-headlining bout. The highly anticipated pay-per-view takes place later this year, July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.