In the early hours of this morning the UFC announced that former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar would be stepping in to fight Chan Sung Jung on December 21st, after Brian Ortega tore his ACL and had to pull out of the fight.
It will be interesting to see what shape Edgar is in coming into the fight, he already had a fight scheduled for mid January, so he would have likely been in camp for at least a month already, meaning he won’t be coming into the fight completely unprepared. The more interesting aspect of that fact, is Edgar was planning to drop down to bantamweight for his fight against Cory Sandhagen – who hasn’t taken this news overly well, he said the following to Ariel Helwani:
“It’s not cool of Frankie to do something like that, I don’t know if money got involved or what, but I thought this guy wanted to have another run at a belt and to call himself the best in the world. I thought that’s the kind of fighter Frankie was. It’s what he said he wanted.”
“It’s sad that his values got mixed somewhere and now he’s taking a fight that isn’t going to get him within arm’s reach of a title, like the fight against me would,” he said. “The UFC is trying to do their jobs and save a huge card, which I get, but they’re also losing a shot at an opportunity to turn a young, new face into a star and the Raleigh fans are going to be pretty bummed too.”
The fight announcement has so far, surprisingly, received a mix reaction from MMA fans. With both men historically being fan favourites, it was expected that most would be excited for this fight – while Frankie may be coming into the fight on the back of a loss, it was a decision loss to featherweight champion Max Holloway. He is by no means ‘washed up’, these two guys should still put on one hell of a show.
The Korean Zombie is 2-2 in his last four, however a win against Edgar could vault him up into title contention, potentially setting up a number one contenders bout with rising star Zabit Magomedsharipov.