Brian Ortega could make his return later this year, headlining a UFC “Fight Night” card against Yair Rodriguez. A fight between the ranked featherweights is being targeted for the promotion’s July 16th card, per reports from Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes and Ariel Helwani.
If the fight can be finalized, it would headline a card that doesn’t have a confirmed location at the moment.
The booking would be Ortega’s first appearance since coming up unsuccessful in a title bout for the second time. He challenged reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266 last year, losing a unanimous decision result after five rounds of action.
Ortega’s last victory was in the main event of a 2020 card when he beat The Korean Zombie on scorecards.
Rodriguez will also be fighting to get back into the win column the next time he appears. He fought former title challenger Max Holloway in November 2021, suffering a unanimous decision loss in that fight.
That booking against Holloway last year was Rodriguez’s first fight since 2019.
Here are all of the bouts that have been reported for UFC’s July 16th show thus far:
Bout 4: Brian Ortega (15-2) vs. Yair Rodriguez (13-3) (Featherweight)
Bout 3: Askar Askarov (14-1-1) vs. Alex Perez (24-6) (Flyweight)
Bout 2: Punahele Soriano (8-2) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (11-4) (Middleweight)
Bout 1: Herbert Burns (11-3) vs. Khusein Askhabov (23-0) (Featherweight)