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UFC 222 fight card primer: Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

Get up to date on the co-main event of UFC 222 this Saturday between Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Octagon returns to the fight capital of the world this Saturday to host UFC 222 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-main event of the evening, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA; 16-5-1 UFC) meets the surging undefeated contender, Brian Ortega (13-0-1 NC MMA; 5-0-1 NC UFC). UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya airs live from Vegas this Saturday night, March 3rd. The main card will begin at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT on PPV. Four preliminary fights will be shown on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, whilst the Fight Pass prelims will begin at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT.

Initially, Edgar was supposed to headline this card when he was booked to face Max Holloway for the UFC featherweight title. For the second time, the fight was scratched, this time due to Holloway suffering an injury. Ortega stepped up to the plate and took the fight with Edgar just a few days after Holloway’s withdrawal.

How do these two stack up?

Edgar: 36 years old | 5’6” | 68” reach
Ortega: 27 years old | 5’8” | 69” reach

What have these two done recently?

Edgar: W Yair Rodriguez (TKO) | W – Jeremy Stephens (UD) | L – Jose Aldo (UD)
Ortega: W – Cub Swanson (Sub) | W – Renato Moicano (Sub) | W – Clay Guida (KO)

How did these two get here?

Frankie Edgar hasn’t fought in almost ten months, but many will still remember his last performance in which he brutally beat down Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211. The devastating ground-and-pound left “El Pantera” with an eye that looked like it’d been stung by a bee, and it reinserted Edgar into title contention at 145-pounds. Since making his featherweight debut in a title fight against Jose Aldo in February 2013, Edgar has gone 7-2, with triumphant wins over the likes of Cub Swanson and Chad Mendes.

Brian Ortega has taken the featherweight division by storm. As the competition increases, Ortega shines even brighter and continues to put on exceptional performances inside the Octagon. Most recently, Ortega defeated UFC vet Cub Swanson by second round submission, earning himself an extra $100,000 in post-fight bonuses on the night. Before that, “T-City” picked up four consecutive third round finishes, evidencing why he is one of the most exciting fighters to watch at 145-pounds.

Why should you care?

The contrast in styles, and “old-school” vs “new-school” factor makes this fight a must-watch this Saturday.