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Brian Ortega is ready to make up for lost time in the Octagon. 

The former featherweight title challenger makes his return to the 145-pound division this weekend in Mexico City where he takes on Yair Rodriguez close to two years after their first match-up was ended prematurely after he sustained a shoulder injury prior to the conclusion of the first round.

In his first first four years in the UFC, former RFA champ Ortega fought eight times, going 7-1 with his unbeaten streak ended at the hands of Max Holloway. Since that defeat in late 2018, he has fought just three times — defeating The Korean Zombie but losing in a title bout to then-champ Alexander Volkanovski before the injury in his first fight with Rodriguez in the summer of 2022.

“When everything happened at the time, I had no idea why,” Ortega said to the media, including The Mac Life, in Mexico City on Wednesday.

“Like a lot of people, we have this victim mentality. ‘Why me, boo-hoo me, man, this sucks.’ One day I’ll really reveal everything that really happened and went down this last year, or year-and-a-half. But now I see why it happened.”

“My perspective on it is just a continuation of [the first] fight,” he added of the rematch with ‘El Pantera’.

“But it depends who you are, how you view the sport, incident, the fight — it’s either a rematch or a continuation. For me, it’s a continuation. We just started getting warmed up. We were very dry. We were still trying to feel each other out, got a hold of each other, hit each other a little bit, felt each other’s strength. It was still partially in that feel-out session. It’s gonna be just two rounds now of that feel-out session [when the fight begins.]”

Check out his full comments in the video above.