During UFC 248 on Saturday, March 7, top-ranked featherweight Brian “T-City” Ortega allegedly open-hand slapped Korean hip-hop artist Jay Park while the two were in the audience. After the incident, Ortega was removed from the area by officials.
The beef between the two started when Ortega took issue with Park’s appearance on a February episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to translate for his friend “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Park translated to English that Jung said Ortega ducked him. The two featherweights were originally scheduled to fight at UFC Fight Night: Busan in December of 2019, but T-City pulled out of the fight due to injury.
Ortega took issue with Park for his translation, and warned the Korean rapper that if he saw him in person, he would slap him. The two saw each other at UFC 248, and Ortega seemingly stuck to his word.
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Park Gives His Side of the Story
The hip-hop artist appeared on March 9’s episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to give his side of the story. He told Ariel Helwani, “To be honest, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I just translated. I never put words in Zombie’s mouth. I’ve never put up a caption for him; I’ve never told him to trash talk.”
Park said he has a lot of respect for fighters, and he was a fan of Ortega after he fought Max Holloway at UFC 231 in December of 2018. Park also reiterated that he is always “Team Zombie.”
He continued, “I don’t know what he was tripping about. He was getting mad for no reason. I didn’t pay no mind, he was there, cool. But I was just chilling; I was jet-lagged, spacing out. And then when Zombie went to the bathroom, all of a sudden I see someone pull up, and he [says] ‘hey dog are you Jay Park?’ It caught me by surprise, and I was like ‘yeah.'”
Park then said, “As I stood up, he smacked me. It was very narrow and there were chairs behind and I fell back. And I got up and I pushed him.” The rapper recounts that there was a “little scuffle” and then it was broken up.
Park described the strike from Ortega as a “strike with his palm.” Besides having a stiff jaw, Park didn’t suffer any other injuries.
Park Doesn’t Understand Why Ortega Is Mad at Him
Park reiterated that he doesn’t know why Ortega is mad at him. From his perspective, all he did was translate what the Korean Zombie said.
During the interview, Park said, “He’s like the No. 2 guy in the world. He’s a UFC professional fighter. What is he doing coming and attacking me?” The rapper said it’s not a good look for T-City.
Brian Ortega has yet to respond to the incident.