‘I Was Winning Every Minute Of The Fight’

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UFC Long Island ended on a down note after the main event between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega was waved off due to an injury.

Things were just starting to get interesting in the classic striker vs. grappler match. Rodriguez had established his superiority on the feet, but Ortega responded with a takedown and was just getting his own game going when his shoulder dislocated, resulting in the fight ending at 4:11 of the first round (watch the injury here).

“As you can tell, I got two shoulder surgeries already and I might need a third one, who knows,” a dejected Ortega said in the cage following the TKO loss. “I don’t know, it just yanked. I was not in submission danger so I felt good, I tried to clear the leg and my arm just popped out and I was like, ‘Oh s—t. Damn, what the hell.’ And that’s what it is, you know?”

In an interview with Megan Olivi backstage, Ortega expanded on the injury.

“The grip was tight on my arm and it dislocated,” he said. “And that was it. No arm lug, no nothing. It just dislocated. Freak accident and it just sucks. The first time it’s ever happened in my entire career. The first time and I’m just taken aback by it. Can’t believe this is what’s going on right now.

“Everything was going my way,” he continued. “Literally, I was winning every minute of the fight. I was sticking to the gameplan because I do get emotional. For one second we started throwing and I was like, ‘All right, let’s start throwing,’ and I go, ‘No, let’s stick to the gameplan.’ And the world saw, I was about to show what I do best, which is grapple and take control. And the second we hit the ground it just … my freaking arm just came out. I got no words, man.

“I would love to do it again,” Ortega confirmed. “We left the world with blue balls. We didn’t get to finish what I wanted to do. Had he got up, had we scrambled, had we banged it up, I was ready in my mind to have a dog fight. I was ready to go in there and impose my will. And I can’t do that with just one arm.

“If he said he’s willing to run it back, I definitely want to get it back. I’m going to MRI this arm as soon as I can, do what I have to do. I pray to God that I don’t have to get surgery. I already had two shoulder surgeries as it is, so I’m praying I don’t have to go under that knife again because it sucks to get surgery.

“The second I’m physically healthy to do it, I want to get back in,” Ortega concluded. “I’m not trying to take anything off. I’m upset, you know? I’m trying to smile, but … I put in way too much work. Sacrificed everything just for something stupid like this to happen.”

While Rodriguez sounded more than willing to run things back with “T-City,” that will all depend on the result of Ortega’s shoulder MRI. If he has to go under the knife to fix the issue, Rodriguez could end up fighting Josh Emmett next instead, possibly even for an interim Featherweight belt.


For complete UFC Long Island results and coverage click here.

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