In a career that spans 28 bouts against some of the best fighters on earth, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has never been finished. Of all the monsters he’s fought, not one has found a way to put him down for good.
Jim Miller and Sean Sherk couldn’t do it. Neither could Gray Maynard or BJ Penn, who fought Edgar three times each. Benson Henderson and Jose Aldo couldn’t find a way, even when the fought Edgar for a second time. Charles Oliveira couldn’t do it. Cub Swanson couldn’t do it. Urijah Faber couldn’t do it. Chad Mendes couldn’t do it. Jeremy Stephens couldn’t do it. Yair Rodriguez couldn’t do it. You get the damn picture.
Frankie Edgar is as gritty, durable, and all-around hard to kill as fighters come. Yet at UFC 222, which goes down this Saturday in Las Vegas, Brian Ortega seeks to change that.
Stepping in on short notice to battle Edgar, who was originally expected to take on featherweight champion Max Holloway, Ortega is embracing the massive challenge of not only beating Frankie Edgar, but stopping him.
“That’s the best part,” Ortega said of this fight with Edgar at a Monday media lunch (h/t MMAJunkie). “This is a great challenge, because it puts that extra edge on me. I’m the kind of guy that, if you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do it. Like, ‘Hey Brian, you can’t do a backflip off that two-story building and land on your feet.’ I’m going to give it a shot.”
“So, when they say, hey, this guy’s never been finished – for me, it’s just like, let’s go for it. Let’s see if we can do it.”
In the same way that Edgar has proven hard to finish, Ortega has proven he’s damn good at finishing, having stopped nine of his 13 opponents before the judges’ services were required.
Do you think Brian Ortega can do the seemingly impossible and finish Frankie Edgar at UFC 222?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/27/2018.