Brian Ortega Overcomes Rolled Ankle, Subs Yair Rodríguez in UFC Mexico City Co-Main

Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega, UFC Mexico City
Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega, UFC Mexico City Credit: Youtube/UFC

After their first meeting in 2022 ended early due to a Brian Ortega shoulder injury, it seemed destined that he and Yair Rodriguez would eventually meet again.

That second fight arrived on Saturday, in the co-main event of UFC Mexico City, the UFC’s long-awaited return south of the border. And a scary scene was observed before the bout even kicked off, with Brian Ortega appearing to roll his ankle while getting loose in the cage.

Things didn’t start well for “T-City.” After about a minute had gone by, Rodriguez sat down Ortega with a big shot but Ortega was able to regain his composure not long after. A leg kick from Rodriguez took Ortega off his feet, which Rodriguez pounced on with some heavy ground and pound. Rodriguez spent some time shifting around Ortega’s guard trying to find openings for his punishing ground and pound. Brian Ortega managed to get it back standing along the fence and dragged Rodriguez back down to the mat to put himself into a dominant position to close out the first round.

Ortega picked up Rodriguez at the beginning of the second round, where Rodriguez latched into a Guillotine choke, which helped Ortega secure a top position on the ground after he popped his head out of the choke. Ortega proceeded to land some heavy elbows which split open Rodriguez, and spent the rest of the round on top. A very dominant round two for Brian Ortega.

Ortega proceeded to take down Rodriguez quickly in round three, and immediately got into position and locked in a very tight arm triangle choke, and that was all she wrote. Brian Ortega announced his return to the Featherweight division, by submitting the former Interim Champion.

You could really see how much that victory meant to Ortega, who no doubt has had a tough last couple years. Saturday marked his first win since his victory over The Korean Zombie in October of 2020.

Has this performance earned Brian Ortega a shot at the newly crowned Featherweight Champion, Ilia Topuria? That remains to be seen.

Official Result: Brian Ortega def. Yair Rodriguez by submission (Arm Triangle Choke), Round 3, 0:58