After nearly two years away, Brian Ortega returned to the Octagon with a vengeance.
The former featherweight title challenger put on a masterclass performance in the UFC Fight Night main event against Chan Sung Jung, defeating him via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) on Saturday night at Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Ortega, who hadn't competed since a December 2018 loss to then-champion Max Holloway, dominated the contest from start to finish. "T-City" is best known as a grappler but showed off improved striking skills against Jung, picking apart his opponent from the outside for most of the fight.
The biggest moment came in the second round when Ortega dropped Jung with a brutal elbow. "The Korean Zombie" was badly hurt but recovered and starting throwing punches of his own. Ortega took him down and ended the round in a dominant position. He briefly dropped Jung in the opening frame, too.
Ortega mixed up his striking, using punches and kicks to outpoint Jung through five rounds. He also faked several takedowns to set up combinations, seemingly confusing his opponent, who constantly walked forward but refused to pull the trigger at times.
Jung had a three-inch reach advantage but Ortega seemed like the longer fighter. The 29-year-old constantly landed strikes from the outside while Jung struggled to find his range.
With the victory, No. 2 Ortega bounced back from a TKO loss to Holloway at UFC 231 and proved he's better than ever before. His record moved to 15-1.
UFC president Dana White said earlier this week the winner of Saturday's main event will face champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Jung, the No. 4-ranked featherweight contender, saw his two-fight winning streak come to an end.