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Brian Ortega: Challenge of being first fighter to finish Frankie Edgar is ‘the best part’

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Undefeated featherweight contender Brian Ortega is looking to become the first fighter to stop Frankie Edgar before the final horn.

Over the five losses of his storied career, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has never been finished by any of his formidable opponents. Undefeated top contender Brian Ortega, however, is looking to change that.

In a recent media lunch on Monday, “T-City” touched on how much of a big deal it is for him to possibly become the first fighter to finish “The Answer” in the co-main event of UFC 222 this weekend, and how much self-belief he has despite discouragements from his detractors.

“That’s the best part. This is a great challenge because it puts that extra edge on me. Because you know what? This is a guy that’s never been finished,” Ortega said of Edgar (via MMA Fighting).

“I’m the kind of guy who if you tell me you can’t do something, like, ‘Brian, you can’t do a backflip off that two-floor building’ and I’m going to give it a shot,” he added. “That’s the way I’ve been ever since I was a kid. So if you say ‘hey man, this guy’s never been finished,’ and everyone told me ‘You can’t finish Frankie Edgar, you can’t do this,’ for me it’s like let’s go for it. Let’s see if we can do it.”

Ortega has so far been impressive in his UFC run, scoring one stoppage victory after another against fighters like Clay Guida and Cub Swanson. For him, getting to share the cage with these fighters, along with this upcoming opportunity, are already big enough accomplishments.

“I’m happy that now in my career I am sharing the Octagon with guys like [Edgar],” Ortega said. “Big names. I got to share the Octagon with Clay Guida. I got to share the Octagon with Cub Swanson. Now I’m going to share the Octagon with Frankie Edgar.”

“These are things that as a fighter you always dream of. You dream of fighting the guys that you watched growing up now I’m doing it. Not just on one guy, but those three guys in a row who have huge names and have done a lot of great things in this sport, especially Frankie as a legend.”

UFC 222 takes place on Saturday, March 3rd, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya.