Some fan have likely wondered whether Frankie Edgar made the right decision in agreeing to fight Brian Ortega at UFC 222. But, recently the former lightweight champ outlined why he agreed to fight the rising star…on short notice.
Ortega received a call from the promotion recently, after Edgar’s original opponent, featherweight champ Max Holloway, pulled out of the March 3rd card due to injury. Due to Edgar’s wins over the likes of Yair Rodriguez, Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens, the veteran fighter has clearly established he’s deserving of a title shot. So, why not wait for Holloway to return? Rather than risk a championship bout by fighting the dangerous Ortega?
Well, Edgar appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” Monday, and the New Jersey fighter had this to say, while discussing his decision (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Man, I haven’t fought since May. I just didn’t want to wait,” Edgar said. “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.”
This is pretty understandable. By the time Holloway is ready to go again, Edgar would have likely gone a year or more without fighting. Plus, what if either fighter incurred yet another injury? Then you could be looking at a 2018 campaign with no fights. While Edgar has shown zero signs of slowing down, he is 36 now, so he can’t afford to spend too much time on the sidelines at this stage of his career.
Of course, for fans, the good news is that we get to see two of the best featherweights on the roster throw down, March 3rd.
UFC 222 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.