UFC/MMA News: UFC could cancel UFC 222; other options considered in light of recent events
What’s the story?
As reported by Ariel Helwani, the UFC is considering the possibility of canceling UFC 222 altogether.
Additionally, a potential fight between Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega is also being considered as a replacement for Edgar’s initially scheduled fight against reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway. Besides, a few other details on the same have also been revealed.
In case you didn’t know…
Former UFC Lightweight Champion and veteran MMA scrapper Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar was set to challenge Max Holloway for the latter’s UFC 145-pound title at UFC 222 next month.
However, a leg injury forced Holloway to withdraw from the event, leaving Edgar without an opponent and the UFC 222 PPV without a title fight.
The heart of the matter
Following the UFC’s global expansion and incredible growth over the past few years, the promotion almost always ensures that its numbered events, i.e. PPV shows, are headlined by one or more title fights.
Nevertheless, per veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, following Max Holloway’s withdrawal from UFC 222, the UFC tried to book a UFC Bantamweight title rematch between TJ Dillashaw and the man he beat for the belt, Cody Garbrandt. However, as that fight didn’t materialize, the UFC is now looking to book Frankie Edgar in a non-title 5-round fight against top prospect Brian Ortega.
Furthermore, it’s being noted that should Edgar vs. Ortega come to fruition, UFC 222 will be demoted from a pay-per-view to a UFC Fight Night card televised on FOX. It was also noted that the UFC tried to book a UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship Match between Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya, however, that didn’t come to fruition either.
Helwani added that the UFC could cancel the UFC 222 card altogether—
Fans can expect the majority of pivotal matchups on the UFC 222 card to either go ahead on the same date—March 3rd—as a Fight Night card or be rescheduled for a future date.
Kudos to the UFC for trying their level best to salvage the UFC 222 event.
Regardless, Frankie Edgar would be taking a huge risk by putting his title shot on the line against someone as dangerous as Brian Ortega. Whether or not that match comes to fruition remains to be seen.