Bonkers interim title fight reportedly being considered to save UFC 226's co-main event
Frankie Edgar wants to make sure he's next in line for that title.
When Frankie Edgar lost out on his UFC featherweight title shot, he offered a hungry, young contender a chance to prove himself. And boy, did Brian Ortega seize the opportunity with both hands.
All 'the Answer' had to do after Max Holloway withdrew from UFC 222's headliner with a leg injury was wait. The New Jersey native had already solidified his position as the number one contender with back-to-back wins over Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez. Holloway wanted to fight him and was ready to give him his shot.
Instead, Edgar opted to take a last-minute replacement in the form of the undefeated 'T City'. This move backfired for the Toms River native, who was handed his first ever knockout loss in the very first round. It marked Ortega's seventh finish in as many fights in the UFC's Octagon.
Shite! #UFC226 https://t.co/8hjygP4Qkx
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 5, 2018
"Let's do this"
Unless you've just crawled out from underneath the rock you live in, you've already heard the bad news. Holloway has been hospitalised for 'concussion-like symptoms' and is out of his scheduled defence against Ortega in UFC 226's co-main event.
It is understood that Ortega was offered some last-minute replacements, but has instead opted to sit out and wait for his title shot. However, Edgar's manager Ali Abdel-Aziz claims his fighter is interested in replacing 'Blessed'. He sent out a tweet suggesting that Edgar would be willing to step in the day before weigh-ins.
Edgar responded with a winky-face emoji. This suggests he is all in favour of taking a fight on the card.
The answer always answer @FrankieEdgar Biggest gangster in the UFC let’s do this 👊🏿👊🏿👊🏿
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 5, 2018
Another interim title?
Edgar bounced back from the Ortega defeat with a unanimous decision victory over Cub Swanson in April. He is expected to be next in line for a title shot should Holloway beat Ortega. However, it looks like he doesn't want to leave it to chance. Edgar appears to want to make sure he's next in line.
Initially, it was thought that he was looking to exact revenge on Ortega. However, this doesn't appear to be the case. John Morgan of MMA Junkie is reporting that the UFC are considering putting on an interim featherweight title fight between Edgar and Stephens in the co-main event.
Stephens and Edgar only fought a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, 'Lil Heathen' has dropped a split decision to Renato Moicano before scoring three consecutive wins over Gilbert Melendez, Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett.