Frankie Edgar released a statement after it was confirmed he will replace Brian Ortega and fight Chan Sung Jung on Saturday December 21 at UFC Fight Night 165.
Ortega was scheduled to face “The Korean Zombie” in the main event of UFC Busan. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that the Californian was out of the fight due to an undisclosed injury.
Brian Ortega is out of the Dec. 21 main event fight against Chan Sung Jung due to an undisclosed injury, according to multiple sources. More coming shortly.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2019
It has since been revealed that Ortega suffered a partially torn ACL.
“I tore my ACL in training and I won’t be fighting in Korea,” Ortega said (via TMZ).
“Thankfully it was only a partial tear so I’m already rehabbing it and the plan is to be back to 100% in 2-3 months.”
Ortega said he was willing to fight through the pain as he didn’t want to let fans down. However, his doctor had the final say.
“I didn’t want to let down the fans, the Zombie and the UFC so I strongly considered pushing through it and fighting anyways, but according to the doctors, the risk of a full rupture in the fight was high and that would put me out for up to a year.
“Sorry guys I gotta take care of this right now, but I’ll make it up to all of you 2020 I promise.”
As soon as potential replacements began circulating, Frankie Edgar was named as the frontrunner. Despite preparing for a bantamweight bout against Cory Sandhagen, UFC officials announced he’d get the opportunity.
“Edgar is currently preparing for his bantamweight debut against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Raleigh on January, but wanted the opportunity to face Jung first. Now, the former UFC champion will postpone his weight cut to fight The Korean Zombie in a featherweight bout.”
Here’s how Edgar responded to the last-minute news.
“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal!”
His manager, Ali Abdelaziz, also responded to the news:
“I’ve been managing this guy for 10 years and every time the phone rings he answers. I want to thank ufc, sean Shelby and Dana for the opportunity. And also the Korean Zombie & his team.”
I’ve been managing this guy for 10 years and every time the phone rings he answers. I want to thank ufc, sean Shelby and Dana for the opportunity. And also the Korean Zombie & his team. @FrankieEdgar pic.twitter.com/TEDyQB5tp8
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) December 6, 2019
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/6/2019.