Brian Ortega took advantage of the biggest chance of his professional mixed martial arts career thus far on Saturday, submitting perennial contender Cub Swanson two rounds into their UFC Fresno main event.
Ortega, who improved his undefeated professional record to 13-0-1 with the win, has landed himself squarely among the contenders at 145-pounds after his fifth successive finish under the UFC banner. Dana White, and indeed Ortega himself, have reiterated that Frankie Edgar is deserving of the spot of being next in line for a shot at Max Holloway’s title.
His handiwork last Saturday has shown that his slick submission game is a match for anyone in the division, though. Just ask Cub Swanson.
The UFC veteran tapped to an Ortega guillotine choke in the second, having survived anaconda attempt in the first, and told the media post-fight in Fresno exactly how potent Ortega’s submission skills are.
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“I felt like I was going to die,” Swanson said (as reported by MMAFighting). “It was tight right away. He had like a lock, you know? And then I was fighting him and kind of shaking him, and he only had like one hand. I grabbed his arm and his wrist and I felt OK.
“And then he grabbed his hand and I felt like I could still pull out, and then he readjusted. I felt his legs get a little higher on my body. And then it crushed my head, and then its like, I just flared up. I panicked.”
For Swanson, it is back to the drawing board in the hunt for his first UFC title shot. Ortega, meanwhile, took home the $50,000 performance bonus and a significantly enhanced reputation.