Frankie Edgar was expected to make his bantamweight debut opposite Cory Sandhagen at UFC Raleigh in late January. When he was asked to replace the injured Brian Ortega against the injured “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, however, he accepted.
He’s now scheduled to meet the undead Korean in the main event of UFC Busan on December 21, while a frustrated Sandhagen has been left without the high-profile dance partner he was expecting.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Edgar explained his decision to accept this fight with the Korean Zombie. Apparently, it was actually his idea.
“I heard that [Brian] Ortega was hurt and I went to my team and I touched base and I said if you need someone, I’m available,” Edgar explained.
“I feel like I was ready. My team liked the fight. Lately, I’m just about experiences and this is a good experience to have in my life. I’ve done a lot in this career. I’ve never taken a fight on two weeks’ notice across the country, so why not add that to the repertoire.”
Edgar was actually supposed to fight the Korean Zombie in 2018, but the fight fell through due to an injury. He says that also played a fact in decision to ask for this fight.
“We were so close to fighting just a year ago so it wasn’t that far off,” he said. “We were supposed to fight and I want to right that wrong.”
Sandhagen, of course, is understandably frustrated with the way things have unfolded. Edgar says he doesn’t have the bandwidth to think about his would-be foe with this new and dangerous challenge on the horizon.
“Right now, I really don’t want to think about Cory. I think I’ve got to worry about the Zombie, first and foremost,” Edgar said. “I mean hey I’ll never say die. If it works out, we’ll see what happens but the test in front of me is no joke. I know it will be a great fight with him. That’s first and foremost.
“It sucks. That’s the breaks,” Edgar added, sending a message to Sandhagen. “I’ve definitely been disappointed in this game quite a bit myself. I’m sure I’ll meet him down the road if not in January.”
As Frankie Edgar suggests, there’s a slim chance he’ll emerge from his fight with the Korean Zombie unharmed and still be able to fight Sandhagen in January as originally planned. “Slim”, of course, is the operative word in that last sentence.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/11/2019.