Surging featherweight star Brian Ortega shocked the MMA world when he knocked out Frankie Edgar (highlights here) in the co-main event of last night’s (Sat., March 3, 2018) UFC 222 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, nailing “The Answer” with a vicious elbow and an absolutely beautiful uppercut to seal the deal.
Becoming the first man to ever finish Edgar, Ortega capitalized on the biggest opportunity of his career after taking the fight on short notice when champ Max Holloway was forced out of the original UFC 222 main event against Edgar. The sheer scope of the exhilarating win left the previously No. 3-ranked jiu-jitsu wiz with no options but a title shot against ‘Blessed.’
After the fight, Dana White discussed Ortega’s knockout on the FOX Sports 1-aired post-fight show with Megan Olivi, noting that he surprised everyone by using his hands rather than his vaunted jiu-jitsu.
When he did, White said he became the clear next contender to Hollway’s gold belt, setting up an amazing match-up between the two young up-and-coming stars:
Yeah, and to do it with punches. You know, you’d expect Ortega to win, you expect him to do it by submission, but he finishes him with punches. It just sets up an incredible match-up between Ortega and Holloway, so, that’s next.”
White gave praise to the legendary Edgar, adding that he was highly confident wanted to fight again after facing Ortega. A star was born, however, and the UFC’s top man continued the praise of his rising 145-pound talent:
“Well, listen, Frankie Edgar is so tough, man, and he’s been in there with everybody, and I know he was very confident for this fight. He wanted to turn around again right after this fight and fight again. And, uh, you know, you found out tonight that Ortega’s for real. If you didn’t believe it in the Cub Swanson fight, you know it now.”