Diego Lopes: UFC 303 fight vs. Brian Ortega ‘could define who’s got best jiu-jitsu’ at featherweight

Who’s got the best jiu-jitsu in the UFC’s featherweight division? Diego Lopes is confident fans soon will get an answer to that question.

In the co-main event of UFC 303 on June 29, Lopes (23-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will cross paths with former UFC title challenger Brian Ortega (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC). The two have combined for 20 submission wins and are regarded as some of the most dangerous submission artists in the UFC.

That’s why Lopes said he thinks their upcoming clash very well could define who’s the best jiu-jitsu fighter in the UFC’s 145-pound division.

“I think if the fight goes to the ground, he’s a black belt, I’m a black belt and both of us have the skills necessary to neutralize each other, but also the ability to test each other’s strengths,” Lopes told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I definitely think this could define who’s got the best jiu-jitsu in the division.

“I remember when I got to the UFC and I was climbing up the division, many were already asking for this fight. Not right now, but in the future to see who’s got the best jiu-jitsu. I think this comes at a great moment, a pay-per-view card, International Fight Week, co-main event – what a great moment to see who’s got the best jiu-jitsu. It’s going to be a war.”

Lopes has only been in the UFC for 13 months, and his career has skyrocketed. From entering the rankings to growing in popularity with the fan base, Lopes is excited to co-headline his first UFC pay-per-view event.

Lopes has had Ortega in his sight for some time, and thrilled to be getting this opportunity – even if it came on short notice.

“We both have similar styles: He’s got power in his hands, good boxing, and good jiu-jitsu as well,” Lopes said regarding the matchup against Ortega. “He’s a fighter that began with a high-level ground game and slowly began showing his evolution. That also happened to me. I’m a jiu-jitsu fighter that’s improving his hands. It’s a fight with very similar styles.

“I think whoever has the best strategy is going to win. We both have just two weeks, and that’s not a ton of time to develop a strategy. During a camp you make a strategy and as it goes you adjust it. But two weeks will go by fast, and I like this fight because of that.

“I’ve told you this many times, I don’t want any easy fights. I want the toughest fights, and Ortega is one of them. This fight motivates me a lot.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie