Following Frankie Edgar’s jaw dropping, stoppage loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 222, Frank Mir is questioning why the legend’s team allowed him to take that fight.
Edgar was supposed to fight featherweight champ Max Holloway at the recent event. But, when the champ went down with an injury, Ortega stepped up and Edgar agreed to the fight. Although the expectation was that Holloway wouldn’t be out for too long, Edgar wanted to face Ortega, since his last bout was back in May, 2017 (when he stopped Yair Rodriguez).
Well, Ortega proceeded to go out and became the first man in history to stop Edgar, by blasting him with a standing elbow and punches in the opening round. On the latest Phone Booth Fighting podcast, Mir had this to say about the decision to have Edgar face the rising star (quote via Bloody Elbow):
“If I was Frankie Edgar’s manager and he wants to take this fight, I’d be like ‘No, Frankie, we’re not taking this fight,” Mir said. “Why? Because this is a dangerous fight. This guy is big, he hits hard, he’s knocked out everybody he’s fought so far in the UFC, and if you go out there and just barely beat him, it makes us look worse going into our Max Holloway fight.”
“We’re also gonna take the time off. You’re an older athlete, you’ve been fighting for a long time, you’ve earned your title shot. You’ve earned your place in UFC lore, you’re gonna be a f—king Hall-of-Famer. We don’t need to give a hand out to this kid Ortega and help him out.”
Mir isn’t the only person who’s argued that Edgar had nothing to gain by fighting Ortega, and some folks said this, before UFC 222 took place.
Based off what Edgar said leading up to the card, it sounds like money played a factor in his decision. What if he had waited for Holloway, and then the champ got injured again? Or Edgar was sidelined? Well over a year would have gone by without a pay check. Edgar also talked about the fact that he’s not getting any younger, and that as a result, he didn’t want to spend too much time on the shelf.
We don’t really know what the thought process was behind the scenes. It could be that Edgar and his team were so confident that he’d beat Ortega, why not double up on paydays in a short time frame?
All this aside, now it will be interesting to see what comes next for Edgar. Could he try 135 finally? Can he make bantamweight?