After disaster struck UFC 222 last week with the injury of UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, the UFC have responded with a new title fight and a new opponent for Frankie Edgar.
Replacing the original main event of Holloway vs Edgar, women’s featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino will take on Yana Kunitskaya in her second title defence while Edgar will now face the fast-rising prospect Brain Ortega in the co-main event.
Cyborg (19-1, 1 NC) successfully claimed UFC gold in 2017 with a TKO victory over Tonya Evinger for the vacant featherweight title and went on to defend her championship against Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 219 in December. The Brazilian fighter has gone unbeaten in her career since losing her first fight in 2005 while 16 of her 19 wins have come via knockout.
Kunitskaya (10-3, 1 NC) meanwhile, has vacated the Invicta FC bantamweight championship to sign with the UFC, five months after winning the vacant title in a unanimous decision over Rachel Pa’aluhi. Kunitskaya has gone 2-2 with one no contest in her last five fights.
With Edgar (22-5-1) now moving down to the co-main event, the former lightweight champion is set to enter the octagon for the first time since soundly defeating Yair Rodriguez in May of last year. Edgar and Holloway had been booked to square off against one another at UFC 218 but Edgar suffered a facial injury causing the bout to be scrapped while their proposed UFC 222 bout was cancelled due to an injury to Max Holloway.
Replacing Holloway will be Brian Ortega (13-0, 1 NC) who has finished all of his UFC bouts outside of his promotional debut which was ruled a no contest. Ortega last fought at UFC Fight Night 123 where he submitted Cub Swanson in the second round.
UFC 222 is now scheduled to feature:
- Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya – women’s featherweight title fight
- Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega
- Stefan Struve vs Andrei Arlovski
- Sean O’Malley vs Andre Soukhamthath
- Cat Zingano vs Ketlen Vieira
- Mackenzie Dern vs Ashley Yoder
- C.B Dollaway vs Hector Lombard
- Bryan Caraway vs Cody Stamann
- Jordan Johnson vs Adam Milstead
- Beneil Dariush vs Bobby Green
- John Dodson vs Pedro Munhoz
- Mike Pyle vs Zak Ottow