Brian Ortega Explains Last Minute Call-Off From UFC 303 Co-Main Event

Brian Ortega had to be replaced by Dan Ige for his UFC 303 co-main event fight with Diego Lopes on just four hours notice at the weekend, and now the star has explained why he had to withdraw.

“Come fight week, I felt off and I didn’t feel right,” Ortega said on Instagram. “I thought it was just the residual effects from the [weight] cut. I was 178 pounds when I accepted this fight on 15 days’ notice. Thursday night after seven straight hours, I could not break 151 pounds. Later, I would find out that I was battling a fever and I could not break into the final five pounds as my body started to shut down.

“Rather than risking huge health consequences, and possibly calling the fight off, thankfully we were able to move the weight to 155. At weigh-ins, I still felt off but I was sure it would go away after I rehydrated and ate.

“Later on that night, I still felt off and was suffering from cold sweats and no sleep. Finally, I feel asleep at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and woke up at 1 p.m. hoping to feel better. I could not keep any food or water down nor could I stand up to use the restroom.

“I struggled with my own ego, got on a call with Tiki [Ghosn] and Hunter [Campbell], and I made the decision to call off the fight. I dared to do something crazy for the love of fighting but I got sick and my body gave out on me. I want to give the fans and my opponents my best performance every time I step into the cage.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.