Former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar was supposed to challenge UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway at UFC 222, but Holloway suffered an injury and was pulled from the card.
Edgar remains on the card against top ranked Brian Ortega and the former champion explains just why he still wants to fight at UFC 222.
“Man, I haven’t fought since May. I just didn’t want to wait,” Edgar said on The MMA Hour. “Time’s ticking and I want to get in there. Last time I got (hurt), I think, three weeks before the fight, so I have a bunch of camps under myself and no fight to show for it, so I just want to go in there and put my skills to use. I only get paid if I fight, so I definitely want to get in there. I’m glad it was Ortega, because it makes the most sense. He’s No. 3, right under me, and that actually makes the most sense for the division. But yeah, at that point, man, I was just wanting to make sure I had someone to fight.”
The two were supposed to meet for the first time at UFC 218, but it was Edgar who pulled out of the fight against Holloway on that night.
Despite the change in opponent, a wary Edgar knows that Ortega can be just as dangerous as the UFC Featherweight Champion.
“He’s game. He’s about as game as it gets,” Edgar said. “He’s not scared to sit there and throw with the best of them. He’s got a very slick guard, dangerous jiu-jitsu game. So he’s a dangerous opponent and I’ve got to give him credit to jump on this fight on short notice. But I think he got a new contract, he could take my spot, so he has a lot of things on the table that could get going for him too.”
UFC 222 takes place on Saturday, March 3 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.