Brian Ortega is on the road to recovery and expected to return good as new inside the Octagon. Pictured: Max Holloway of the United States fights against Brian Ortega (R) of the United States in a featherweight bout during the UFC 231 event at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. Getty Images/Vaughn Ridley

Brian Ortega got the worse end of the beating when he faced featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 231. The 27-year-old ended up with a mangled face, with the physician eventually calling for the match to be stopped before the fifth round.

The no. 1 contender in the featherweight division entered the fight with a lot of promise. This was largely because he was coming off a big win over Frankie Edgar, knocking out the 37-year-old fighter in the first round at UFC 222 back in March.

Against Holloway, Ortega needed to be at his best and hope to catch the champion off guard and off shape. Unfortunately, it was the exact opposite, with 27-year-old showing up in phenomenal shape and eventually putting on a striking clinic. That included landing significant strikes in the fourth round against Ortega, MMA Mania reported.

Such was the reason why Ortega ended up with a busted face. He suffered a broken nose and broke thumb, injuries that could easily force a fighter to waive the white flag. But this was not the case for Ortega, who said in an Instagram post that he was willing to die in there.

“Broken nose and a broken thumb. I was willing to die in there. Last night was Max’s night. I’ll be back. Thank you to everyone who’s always believed in me and supported me,” Ortega, who spoke for the first time since falling to Holloway at UFC 231, said.

Ortega’s coach, Rene Gracie, lauded his pupil for his effort and said that he had nothing to be ashamed of.

”When we arrived at the hospital, the first thing you said was ‘I’m sorry.’ My brother, you have nothing to be sorry about,” Gracie said in his own Instagram post.

Gracie knew that Ortega competed in the highest level and that he was up against one of the top fighters in the UFC. Despite getting the vicious kicks, the 35-year-old lauded his boy for the heart he showed that night -- something rare and could never be taught.

In time, Ortega is expected to be back up on his feet and return to UFC action. There is nothing set in stone, although the mixed martial artist may return with changes in the 145-pound division.

Dana White is reportedly pushing Holloway to move up to the lightweight division where he could find himself in a lot of big money fights. He singles out how the Hawaiian could start ranked fifth and work his way up and face the likes of Conor McGregor or even Khabib Nurmagomedov, MMA Mania said.