Brian Ortega, the third-ranked featherweight in the UFC, has the biggest fight of his young career Saturday against second-ranked former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 in Las Vegas. Ortega first had to overcome his own battle Thursday as he underwent a challenging and painful weight cut to get down to 146 pounds. Here is his story, in his words and through the lens of Southern California News Group staff photographer Hans Gutknecht.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Edson Barboza during UFC 219 at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. Nurmagomedov defeated Barboza via judges decision. (Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Cris Cyborg defeats Holly Holm via unanimous decision to retain her UFC women’s featherweight title during UFC 219 at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. (Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Kobe Bryant during a ceremony to retire both the numbers he wore as a Los Angeles Laker at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. (Photos by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)