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Brian Ortega Withdraws from UFC 303: The Inside Story

Nita Yadav

By Nita Yadav

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Brian Ortega Withdraws from UFC 303: The Inside Story

Brian Ortega: In a shocking turn of events, Brian Ortega was forced to withdraw from UFC 303 at the last minute. Originally scheduled to face Diego Lopes in the co-main event, Ortega’s sudden exit left fans and organizers scrambling for a replacement.

Last-Minute Changes and the Replacement

As the preliminary card unfolded, renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that Ortega was on the verge of withdrawing due to illness. The UFC quickly moved to arrange a new fight, ultimately booking Diego Lopes against Dan Ige.

The Reason Behind Ortega’s Withdrawal

Before the main card of UFC 303 commenced, the broadcast confirmed that Dan Ige would officially replace Brian Ortega in the fight against Diego Lopes. Ortega had to pull out due to a severe illness, with commentator Jon Anik revealing on the live broadcast that Ortega had a 103-degree fever and had been unwell since the official weigh-ins.

Originally, Ortega vs. Lopes was set as a featherweight bout. However, it was shifted to a lightweight contest after Ortega struggled with the weight cut. Despite the adjustment, Ortega appeared visibly unwell when he stepped on the scales on Friday morning.

Dan Ige Steps Up

Dan Ige vs. Diego Lopes was confirmed to take place at a catchweight of 165 pounds. Ige, who was present at the T-Mobile Arena, weighed in at 164.5 pounds just hours before the fight, according to ESPN.

Upon hearing that the co-main event was at risk, Ige texted UFC’s Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell, expressing his readiness to step in. This marked the first time a fighter has replaced another on the day of the fight without the standard weigh-in procedure or prior inclusion on the card.

Lopes, meanwhile, weighed in at 161.5 pounds.

Ige’s Statement

In a backstage interview after the announcement, Ige commented on the short-notice replacement:

“I was asleep on the couch, getting a massage. They called me – big opportunity. This is what legends are made of. You got to stay ready for these types of opportunities. I’m here tonight. Me and Diego are going to put on a great show, go out and show the world who Dan Ige is with this W.”

Nita Yadav

Nita Yadav

I am Nita Yadav, specializing in writing about politics and breaking national news. My focus is on delivering insightful and timely perspectives on these crucial topics, aiming to inform and engage my readers effectively.

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