Michael Bisping: ‘It’s now or never for Brian Ortega’ at UFC Mexico

Michael Bisping thinks Brian Ortega faces a must-win situation at UFC Mexico.

Ortega (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) rematches Yair Rodriguez (18-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 237 (ESPN+) headliner at Mexico City Arena.

Ortega will return for the first time since he injured his shoulder in a first-round TKO loss to Rodriguez at UFC on ABC 3 in July 2022. The two-time title challenger talked about a rebirth at Wednesday’s media day, and Bisping says Ortega needs to win if he wants to remain in the title picture.

“That’s what Brian Ortega’s talking about,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “He’s saying, ‘Listen, this is me, 2.0, 3.0.’ Whatever you want to call it, he’s coming back hungry, determined and wants to make the most of his career. The man has been at the top of the game for a long time, but he’s 33 years old, so it’s now or never for Brian Ortega. He’s got to put together a win streak to ever become the champion.”

Bisping picked Rodriguez to win, but sees a path to victory for Ortega if he can get the fight to the mat.

“I give massively the advantage to Brian Ortega – he’s a high, high-level black belt,” Bisping said if the fight hits the canvas. “And he pieces together sleek boxing. What he’s going to have to do is cut the cage off and try and make the cage smaller so Yair can’t use all those spinning attacks and the fast, aggressive, powerful kicks that he’s known for. If you can do that, and you can get the fight down to the ground, I see Brian Ortega winning this fight.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 237.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie