Brian Ortega before UFC 303: Diego Lopes’ submission threat ‘something that I’m not accustomed to’

Diego Lopes presents a unique challenge for Brian Ortega at UFC 303.

Ortega (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) meets surging featherweight contender Lopes (23-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in Saturday’s co-headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which streams on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Lopes said that his matchup with Ortega could prove who has the best jiu-jitsu, but Ortega doesn’t necessarily see it that way.

“At the end of the day, it’s a fight. It’s not a grappling match,” Ortega told MMA Junkie. “If we did a tournament, then we can see who has better jiu-jitsu. Maybe who can use jiu-jitsu better in an MMA fight, that’s something different. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying this determines who has better jiu-jitsu.”

Ortega is known for his slick submission game, most recently earning a third-round arm-triangle choke of Yair Rodriguez. Lopes is also a proven threat on the ground, with the majority of his professional wins coming by submission.

“T-City” is not used to being on the defensive when it comes to submissions, which is why he finds his matchup with Lopes intriguing.

“We both are deadly dangerous, and we both could submit each other,” Ortega continued. “So, that is something that I’m not accustomed to fighting. … Now I’m like, ‘Hold up, this guy is going to freaking try and shoot a submission on me like, what?’

“Never in my career have I really thought someone was going to try and choke me out, but I’ve always been the guy for jiu-jitsu, so it does give the chess piece an interesting mix to it.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie