Ortega apologizes again for slapping rival’s friend

MMA

UFC fighter Brian Ortega offered a more robust apology Wednesday for an incident that occurred last Saturday night in the crowd at UFC 248.

On Instagram, Ortega wrote he now understands “what I did was truly wrong.” The featherweight fighter was referring to his slapping of popular Korean-American rapper Jay Park during the UFC event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ortega took offense to how Park, a friend of Ortega rival Chan Sung Jung, translated Jung’s words from Korean into English last month on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, among other barbs from Park.

“When I make a mistake, I own the consequences,” Ortega wrote. “But in this case the negativity that I’ve caused has spilled over to the people closest to me, and that’s how I know that what I did was truly wrong. I’m sorry to you guys and my family.”

In response Wednesday, Jung wrote on Instagram that he accepted Ortega’s apology and was pleased he owned up to his “mistake.”

“I too, apologize for trash talking,” Jung said. “I thought my fans were enjoying it but what happened taught me to be more careful. Also, I realized this was not the person that I really am. We have only one more thing left between us and that is the fight. I will fight you and I will beat you, I really will.”

Ortega made a flippant apology Monday night in a social media post that was later deleted. Ortega wrote that he slapped three people Saturday night.

“I apologize for slapping the ‘translator,’ and I apologize for slapping the ‘K-pop star,’ but I don’t apologize for slapping the ‘instigator,'” Ortega wrote.

On Tuesday, Ortega offered a social-media apology to both Park and Jung before expanding on it Wednesday.

Park filed an incident report with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department on Saturday night, ESPN confirmed Monday. It will be up to him on whether or not to pursue charges. If Park does, it will be investigated by police as an alleged misdemeanor battery, according to Vegas Metro PD public information officer Larry Hadfield. Park has up to one year after the incident to pursue charges, Hadfield said.

“I don’t want to take this dude’s money,” Park said Monday on Helwani’s show. “I don’t want him to go to jail or anything like that. I don’t wish anything bad about him. It was just really weird. I don’t know what other way to put it. I don’t know what he was thinking. He needs to get his act together. Real talk.”

Ortega and Jung were scheduled to fight in Jung’s home country of South Korea in December, but Ortega withdrew due to a knee injury. Ortega took exception to Jung’s remarks, through Park, that Ortega was scared to fight Jung.

“My pride is my enemy, and over the last couple days I’ve been battling it,” Ortega wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “I hope you understand that I’m human and I’m flawed, in more ways than one. In the beginning, I justified my actions based on the series of events that led up to Saturday, but I now realize that what I did was wrong overall. My parents taught me dignity and respect, and I didn’t show that. My coaches have always taught me that martial arts are to empower the weak against the strong. On Saturday, that didn’t happen.”

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