Max Holloway’s UFC featherweight title reign will continue against the man it originally was supposed to start against.
Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) has been booked to defend his belt vs. Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) at UFC 222, a person with knowledge of the situation told MMAjunkie. The UFC later made it official with an announcement on Twitter.
UFC 222 takes place March 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
The booking comes as little surprise, with both fighters still expressing interest in one another after a previous booking fell through. Edgar told MMAjunkie last month that he was hoping to fight Holloway in March.
Holloway, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, and No. 3 Edgar originally were set to meet at UFC 218 last month in Detroit until Edgar was forced to withdraw roughly four weeks out because of a broken orbital suffered during training camp. Jose Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) took Edgar’s place to rematch Holloway, who won by third-round TKO over the ex-champion for the second time.
Holloway, 25, will look for his second successful title defense as he also aims to extend his career-high winning streak to 13 fights. He hasn’t suffered a loss since August 2013, a unanimous decision to current lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
Holloway, who was named 2017 “Fighter of the Year” by the UFC, is just the fifth fighter in the promotion’s history to tally at least a 12-fight winning streak. The most dominant 145-pounder in the UFC, Holloway has won 11 straight in the division, which is the longest active streak. His nine stoppage wins in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history. Has also has the most overall wins in the division’s history with 14.
Edgar, meanwhile, will enter the fight on the strength of back-to-back wins over Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez. In his most recent bout at UFC 211 last May, Edgar dominated Rodriguez for a TKO win via doctor stoppage. With a win, Edgar would become the fifth fighter in UFC history to claim titles in two different divisions.
Edgar held the UFC lightweight title for nearly two years from April 2010, winning a decision over B.J. Penn, until February 2012, when he lost the belt to Benson Henderson via unanimous decision. Edgar failed to reclaim the title in their immediate rematch. Since moving down to 145 pounds, Edgar has lost two featherweight title fights, both to Aldo. His last loss came against Aldo at UFC 200 in July 2016 for the interim title.
With the addition, the UFC 222 card includes:
- Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
- C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
- Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Stefan Struve
- Mackenzie Dern vs. Ashley Yoder
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- UFC 220's Francis Ngannou: Stipe Miocic is champ only because I wasn't here yet
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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