Brian Ortega is sticking to his roots in preparation for his December 9 bout with Cub Swanson. Known for his impressive triangle chokes, Ortega is one of the few Helio Gracie Jiu-Jitsu purists in mixed martial arts. He has earned a black belt under the ‘first family’ of Jiu-Jitsu and those skills, in addition to his ever-improving boxing abilities, have carried him far.
Ortega stands undefeated in his MMA career with a record of 12 wins and zero losses. He’ll be facing a tough opponent, though, in Cub Swanson, who is a Jiu-jitsu black belt under the Machado family and boasts incredible striking abilities himself. Swanson’s record stands at 25-7.
— UFC (@ufc) December 5, 2017
Swanson recently campaigned to have a title shot against Featherweight champion Max Holloway, but the nod was given to Frankie Edgar instead. Edgar, though, was injured in preparation for the fight and as a result, the UFC decided that former Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, not Swanson, would Replace Edgar for the UFC 218 title fight.
This has been the story of Swanson’s ten-year career, and he is not happy about it. Never once has he been offered a title fight in all that time, and he wants fair treatment… now.
Creating mayhem wherever he goes.
— MMA Hype Watch (@MMAHWatch) December 7, 2017
He currently has only one fight left on his UFC contract and has openly threatened to walk away from the organization following the bout with Ortega unless he is treated like he is ‘appreciated’ financially and otherwise.
Swanson is no stranger to adversity. He has an undeniable strength about him because the California native’s life has truly been a fight from the start. His dad passed away from cancer when Cub was only three months old, and his mother, unable to care for him and his brothers, sent them to live with relatives.
He credits martial arts for bringing him out of a troubled youth in which his turbulent lifestyle would land him in a juvenile detention center. At the age of 19, he began to dive hard into martial arts, and that would be the turning point for him, setting him on “a different path.” This path, as we now know, would lead him to become one of the most respected and devastating fighters in the UFC.
The man Cub Swanson is today is a result of overcoming hardship – Brian Ortega, though, fought for survival.
Fighting is as much a part of Ortega’s identity as his last name. As a child growing up in the projects of San Pedro CA, Ortega experienced more violence than many can even imagine. He started fighting “at age five” because… he had to.
Eventually, he began to train martial arts/striking and found that doing so offered him both a momentary escape from the streets and the tools he needed to survive out there.
Under the mentorship of world-renowned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu expert Rener Gracie, and boxing extraordinaire James Luhreson, he slowly climbed his way out of the lifestyle he was in, and out of the darkness, he was trapped in mentally.
.@BrianTCity’s rise into an undefeated contender is remarkable. Take a look back as to how he got here, with the help of Rener Gracie and James Luhrsen!
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 6, 2017
There will be a clash on the 9th of December between two men of similar fighting styles, and similar backgrounds. Looking across that cage, both men will see somewhat of a reflection of themselves in the other. We’re about to witness a battle between two men who have overcome it all… only to find themselves in each other’s crosshairs.
May the best man win.