Edgar Explains Why He Accepted Ortega At UFC 222
Following a long layoff, Frankie Edgar was excited to not only return at UFC 222, but battle Max Holloway for the featherweight title, but Holloway would have to pull out similarly to Edgar at UFC 218 due to injury.
And now on March 3rd, Edgar will still be on the event, but now in a non-title co-main event against Brian Ortega, and according to MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour that he was going to stay on the card no matter the situation.
“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.”
Edgar explained that his long layoff since his win over Yair Rodriguez was the primary factor that drove his decision to remain on UFC 222.
Edgar is 36 years old and isn’t sure how many years he has left in the sport. He only fought once in 2017 because of the unfortunate circumstances that surrounded the Holloway fight, so at some point, he had to prioritize maximizing his earning potential over waiting around for an ideal opportunity, even if that opportunity was already supposed to belong to him twice.
“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.”
The New Jersey native knows nothing is guaranteed with a win at UFC 222, but Edgar hopes a win over Ortega would get him a shot at Holloway, he is hoping to fight in his home state on the April 21st card in Atlantic City, if he does pull off the win against Ortega.
“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.”