It’s not like Brian Ortega’s name is linked to steroids every other day. So when Alexander Volkanovski called out the featherweight contender for the failed test, it took a lot of fight fans by surprise.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) September 23, 2021
“I didn’t know about you popping. That shit don’t sit well with me. You don’t deserve to be here. Mate, you’re a fucking drug cheat.” Volkanovski said amid the cheers of the crowd that had gathered to witness the pre-fight press conference. Ortega was left quite surprised considering Volkannovski had not even once mentioned this fact during the press conference but decided to unleash the verbal tirade during the dramatic face-off ahead of UFC 266.
Has Brian Ortega ever tested positive for steroids?
Brian Ortega tested positive in his debut fight for the UFC. The featherweight contender returned a positive test following his win over Mike De La Torre at UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown card in San Jose, California. CSAC executive director Adam Foster cleared that Ortega tested positive for anabolic steroid drostanolone. He was fined $25000 and suspended for 9 months.
Originally a submission win over Mike De La Torre, it was turned into a No Contest after Ortega was caught doping. Ortega would return to the cage almost a year later against Thiago Alves, picking up a third-round stoppage win and his first Fight of the Night bonus award.
Ortega never disputed the verdict. Needless to say, Alexander Volkanovski calling out Ortega for the failed drug test, which even though took very early in his UFC career, has left an ugly spot on his MMA resume.
Can Ortega beat Alexander Volkanovski?
While Alexander Volkanovski is the more complete fighter among the two, Brian Ortega has a decent chance at beating the Australian featherweight champion. However, Volkanovski has shown in his previous two wins over Max Holloway that he can compete against the absolute best, and make necessary adjustments to win the fight.
Volkanovski is a tough fighter to beat on the scorecard because he is constantly tagging you, kicking you, and trying to mix things up. Ortega will look to catch Volkanovski with a lucky punch or try to execute a submission move out of nowhere if he wants to get his hands raised this weekend. However, it will be easier said than done.