16 Oct [MMA] 
Brian Ortega: Children's charity, not weight-cut issues, was reason for shaving his head

ABU DHABI — When Brian Ortega showed up to the UFC on ESPN+ 38 weigh-ins without his patented luscious locks, the MMA world went into a frenzy.

Speculation arose Ortega was potentially having issues with his cut down to featherweight for his headliner against Chan Sung Jung on Saturday, but Ortega was the first one to the scale and successfully made 146 pounds.

It was later revealed by ESPN that Ortega (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) shaved his head for a good cause, where he plans on donating his hair to the Locks of Love charity for children undergoing chemotherapy.

Speaking to UFC Arabia, Ortega claimed that his weight cut went smoothly and the plan was always to cut his hair, just not all of it initially. Ortega launched his own foundation, The Brian Ortega Foundation, a few years ago and has always had an interest in working with kids.

“We have a camera and we documented the whole weight cut, showing how smooth it was going and everything, so people on the internet just like to say negative things right off the bat,” Ortega said. “I was already gonna cut my hair after this fight. I was gonna have it a little bit slicked back not shaved, but when I was cutting weight, I was talking to them, I was like listen, there’s people out there who are suffering daily versus just one day right now.

“For me, weight cut, we suffer one or two days then we’re good and we’re back to normal. There’s people out there who have to lose their hair not by choice and to go through a lot of things and to me kids, obviously I love kids so I’m donating my hair to the kids who need it.”

UFC on ESPN+ 38 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The card streams on ESPN+.