Frankie Edgar entered Saturday’s UFC 222 event having never been finished in MMA competition. That all changed in the span of five minutes. Brian Ortega became the first man to hand Edgar a finish loss when he knocked him out in the first round of their featherweight title eliminator.
In the final minute of the opening frame, Ortega landed a standing elbow that appeared to stun the former UFC lightweight champion. “T-City” then followed up once he realized he had Edgar hurt. Then, he landed a vicious upper-cut that dropped Edgar and appeared to put him out. Ortega sealed the deal with a couple of punches before the referee stopped it.
Edgar was slated to challenge UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway before an injury forced “Blessed” out of the contest. Ortega just stole that title shot.
He remains undefeated and pushed his record to 14-0 with one no-contest. He will have the biggest fight of his life in his next bout.
Edgar out-landed Ortega in the stand-up for the first four minutes of the co-main event. He survived a scare or two where Ortega briefly got a hold of his neck in the clinch. That was how most of Ortega’s backers thought he’d win: a deadly submission. That wasn’t the case.
Edgar falls to 22-6-1 with the loss. It’s unclear where he’ll go from here.
Surprisingly, he has fought the likes of Jose Aldo, BJ Penn, Gray Maynard and Chad Mendes without being finished before tonight. Ortega changed that emphatically.
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