The newly ranked #5 featherweight in the world, Movsar Evloev is riding the confidence from his big win this past weekend at UFC 297.
Picking up the biggest win of his career, Evloev defeated Englishman, Arnold Allen via decision to remain undefeated and enhance his record to 18-0. Despite what Dana White said, it wasn’t a ‘boring’ fight, and we discussed why this was the case on this week’s MMASucka podcast. The difficulty for the Russian, however, is that he is yet to finish a fight in the UFC and has gone the full 15 minutes in all eight of his UFC bouts thus far, not exactly making him an attractive prospect. With that being said, eight fights since 2019 against seasoned UFC contenders is good going for the Russian.
He took the opportunity having won on the main card in Canada to aim at a certain member of the division who is currently ranked above him. Taking to X, Evloev joked about the inactivity of Brian Ortega, clearly hinting that he’s frustrated at still being ranked below T-City.
— Movsar Evloev (@MovsarUFC) January 26, 2024
Brian Ortega – 3 fights, 4 years
Was what Evloev said online fair? It’s hard to argue with him. Although the comment was said in a jokey manner, the inactivity of Ortega is clearly an issue for many in the division.
The two-time title challenger has competed just three times since 2020 and only competed four times since 2018. Granted, he’s had injury issues as well as relationship issues, however, that kind of consistency is frustrating for both fans and fellow featherweights alike.
The UFC brass are fans of Ortega, who gained a second title shot after just a single win in the division. He’s still ranked in the top five of the division (#4), however, hasn’t picked up a win since 2020 and hasn’t put two wins together since 2017/2018.
Ortega is scheduled for a rematch against Yair Rodriguez on Feb 24th in a five-round co-main event. The previous fight ended at the end of the very first round due to Ortega suffering a shoulder injury.
The featherweight strap is set to be defended at UFC 298, the week before Rodriguez vs Ortega 2. Alexander Volkanovski will defend his belt against undefeated star, Ilia Topuria. This means we’ll know the champion of the division by the time Ortega returns, which means the fight has even higher stakes.
Will it be the Rodriguez/Ortega winner? Will it be the undefeated Evloev? If Topuria wins, does Volkanovski get the rematch? Whatever happens, February is a big month to be a 145lbs fighter in the UFC.