Frankie Edgar Opens Up On Accepting Fight Against Brian Ortega At UFC 222

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The last week or so has been a wild time for Frankie Edgar.

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was forced to pull out of his next title defense against the former UFC lightweight champion at UFC 222 due to injury.

As a result of this fight being scrapped, the UFC had to make some changes to that fight card.

With Edgar not wanting to sit around until Holloway is healthy enough to fight again, the former champ decided to fight in the mean time as he is slated to battle fellow top contender Brian Ortega at the upcoming pay-per-view event in the co-main event.

Some fight fans questioned Edgar’s decision to accept this fight, which is against a dangerous fighter.

Thus, he decided to speak with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to explain why he thought it was a good idea to accept this fight contact.

“I was pissed, man,” Edgar admitted to host Ariel Helwani. “Obviously we were supposed to get down in December and I got injured, and now here we go, he gets injured, so it’s just unfortunate. It’s the way things go. I was bummed for a little bit, a little bit depressed, but you know, I got over it, man. I just wanted to stay on the card. I’m itching to fight, it’s been too long, so here we are. Now we’ve got to fight Ortega.”

“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,” Edgar added. “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.”

UFC 222 is set to take place on March 3, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

“He’s game. He’s about as game as it gets,” Edgar said of Ortega. “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.

“Holloway’s no joke either on his back and with his submission game, and their body types are very similar, so it wasn’t too much of a change,” Edgar added. “And I’ve got (coaches) Ricardo Almeida and Mark Henry in my corner always adjusting things as we go, so I know I’m confident in my preparation and what these guys have been working on.”

“I take pride that I win when people don’t think I’m gonna,” Edgar said. “I don’t think like, ‘Oh, I’m going to ruin this guy’s plans,’ or anything like that. I just want to make sure my plans stay intact, and that’s what I do: Go out there and just try to win fights. I don’t care if I’m fighting a guy that I’m supposed to beat, not supposed to beat, younger, older. The objective is still the same, I want to go in there and win.”