“If you’re with me – you sweat with me, you bleed with me – I’m with you, and you’re my family. I’ll treat you like one. If you’re my people, I ride for my people.”
Growing up with The Ultimate Fighter on his own television, Ortega said he always admired the luck the series created for athletes early in their careers. What about some of his favorite moments?
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“Nate (Diaz), obviously. Go there, win and be right on the west side, the west coast,” Ortega said. “Some fighters who didn’t even win the series and still made it. Uriah Hall is one of my all-time favorites. Especially with this crazy knockout, I remember thinking, ‘Fuck shit, who is this man? ‘”
With the series returning for the first time in nearly three years, Ortega knows there are shoes to fill this season, but it’s a challenge he’s undoubtedly ready to take on.
“The fact that it’s back and hearing that as a fan is drugs in itself,” Ortega explained. “It’s nerve-racking, but we have to bring something to the table that the fans are going to enjoy, to keep everyone entertained, but at the same time, we’re going to be ourselves.”