UFC 303: Brian Ortega Vs Diego Lopes Undergoes Yet Another Shake up Hours Before Commencement

UFC 303 faces a late twist as Brian Ortega vs. Diego Lopes bout shifts just before the showdown begins.

Updated on Jun 29, 2024  |  10:05 AM IST |  196.3K
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Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes

UFC 303 witnessed yet another change in its match card! Ever since the announcement of the event, the card has undergone several shake ups due to unexpected injuries. Initially, the main event was supposed to take place between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. Unfortunately, just weeks before the event, McGregor picked up a toe injury. This forced Dana White to rope in Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira to fill in. 

Next up, the co-main event also took an unfortunate turn. Trying to make a quick comeback after a humiliating UFC 300 loss, Jamahal Hill went up against Khalil Rountree. But Rountree failed a drug test that blew up the co-main event of UFC 303. And while the Brian Ortega vs. Diego Lopes fight looked set, the match has once again been altered. 

Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes go up in weight

While the UFC 303 pre-event presser was on the way, Jon Anik had news for everybody. He informed that the featherweight fight between Lopes and Ortega will now take place as a lightweight fight. This was due to the fact that Ortega, even after dehydrating, could not get his weight below the 151 lbs mark. 

Thus, with no other option left, Diego Lopes was asked to fight at lightweight or cancel the bout. As a matter of fact, Brian Ortega was training to move up in the weight class. So when he was roped in for the fight at short notice, Ortega had no means to cut his weight significantly. Luckily for the fans, Lopes did not cancel the fight. 

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He accepted the fight as both fighters successfully weighed in at 155lbs. Surprisingly, a fight in the lightweight division would be just what ‘T-City’ was looking for. 

Brian Ortega eyes for lightweight gold

Brian Ortega is coming to UFC 303 on the back of a dominant victory against Yair Rodriguez. However, even if Ortega wins against Lopes, he does not see a future in the featherweight division. T-City stated that he wanted a title shot, and that would not be possible in the featherweight category.

With Ilia Topuria at the helm, he will be fighting Max Holloway next. In the meantime, Alexander Volkanovski is also waiting in the wings for his rematch with Topuria. Thus, as an intelligent move, Ortega decided to move up in weight to 155 lbs. And coincidentally, UFC 303 has presented him with a chance to register his maiden victory in the division. Will he be able to get the better of Lopes? It will be interesting to watch come June 29. 

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Also Read: UFC 303 Predictions :Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka 2 Full Match Card

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About The Author

Debmallya Chakraborty, a senior journalist at PinkVilla, has been deeply involved in UFC since 2015, transitioning from an observer

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