LAS VEGAS — Brian Ortega needed not up to one spherical at UFC 222 to do one thing by no means done sooner than.
After turning into the primary person ever to knock out Frankie Edgar, there’s no telling what this surfing Californian may do next.
Ortega stopped the former UFC champion on a devastating uppercut with 16 seconds left in the first spherical, and Cris “Cyborg” Justino defended her featherweight name with a primary-spherical stoppage of Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222 on Saturday evening.
Edgar (21-6-1) used to be stopped for the first time in his THIRTEEN-year combined martial arts occupation by means of Ortega (14-0), who most probably earned a featherweight name shot towards dominant champion Max Holloway together with his up to date impressive finish at T-Cell Enviornment. Even If Ortega’s power is jiu-jitsu, he showed off a striking skill that makes him one in every of the arena’s very best at ONE HUNDRED FORTY FIVE pounds.
“I’ve at all times mentioned it, and perhaps the way I struggle doesn’t really display it, however select your poison,” mentioned Ortega, who claimed he gained 19 pounds among Friday’s weigh-in and the bout. “i think like regardless of what happens within the combat, I’ll be all right.”
Ortega began the knockout with a sneaky left elbow that wobbled Edgar past due within the spherical, and he landed a few more punches prior to taking flight and launching a great right uppercut in a partial clinch.
Edgar’s knees buckled as he rose off the canvas and fell flat on his again. identical to that, Ortega — who used MMA to flee a troubled upbringing in the La suburbs — most probably earned a identify shot.
“i have labored in point of fact laborious to get here and it’s much more surreal than i could have imagined,” Ortega stated. “i have an excessive amount of recognize for his wrestling, so I knew that i’ll stand and bang with him. … I simply beat one in every of the best to ever do it. one in every of the true legends of this sport is Frankie Edgar.”
Edgar used to be supposed to get a identify shot at UFC 222 until Holloway dropped out with an damage less than four weeks ago. Instead, Edgar requested to stay on the card with a alternative opponent — and Ortega pounced.
After his third win in eight months, Ortega’s instant plans come with surfing off the L. A. coast and paintings along with his new charity. He
also hopes to begin arrangements quickly to struggle Holloway, who has gained 12 immediately bouts when you consider that losing to Conor McGregor in 2013.
“I always check out not to glance too a ways in advance,” Ortega stated. “I just look far sufficient to know the place I’m going subsequent. However I’ve dreamed about preventing Max. we’re both young men out here changing the sport. I’m excited and that i’m coming for the belt.”
Dana White could also be a believer in Ortega, and the UFC president is keen to make the battle with Holloway. Shortly after Ortega’s win, Holloway tweeted “Ufc 226” — another way known as the merchandising’s big summer display in Vegas on July 7.
Cris Cyborg punches Yana Kunitskaya in their women’s UFC featherweight bout.Zuffa LLC by the use of Getty Photographs
“The Man is so incredible and smartly-rounded,” White said of Ortega. “you think while he is going in and fights Frankie Edgar, you’d guess the rest he’s going to (submit) him if he’s going to win, and he goes in and knocks him out in the primary spherical.”
Cyborg (20-1, 1 no-contest) completed the show together with her 10th consecutive victory towards Kunitskaya (10-4), a Russian veteran making her UFC debut on short understand. The dominant UFC champion had little bother with the large underdog, hurting Kunitskaya time and again with moves prior to finishing her off with ground-and-pound.
“I educate the entire time, so I took this battle on short notice, but I felt very prepared,” Justino stated.
Justino agreed to headline the card lower than four weeks in the past after Holloway was once compelled out of his main-event identify protection against Edgar by way of damage. Kunitskaya used to be a recreation opponent, however she nonetheless hasn’t reached the extent essential to contend with Cyborg, who hasn’t lost since her MMA debut in 2005.
Justino and White wish the champion’s subsequent bout shall be towards UFC A HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE-pound champ Amanda Nunes.
“I’m looking ahead to Amanda now,” Cyborg said of her fellow Brazilian. “She called me out, and i need to struggle her. I simply wish to remind everybody that she known as me out, and whilst you name out Cyborg, Cyborg will answer.”
Before Ortega stopped Edgar, pleasing bantamweight “Sugar” Sean O’Malley earned a choice victory over Andre Soukhamthath in spite of seriously injuring his right leg in the course of the third round, forcing him to survive three mins with out being able to face.
O’Malley (10-0), who joined the UFC final 12 months, left the sector ground on a stretcher with his decrease leg in a makeshift cast, but best after giving an enthralling publish-struggle interview while flat on the canvas in palpable pain.
“I don’t know what came about,” O’Malley stated from his again. “My foot went numb and i can’t feel it. Simply glad to fight thru it and get the win. Welcome to the Sugar Show!”
Andrei Arlovski, the 39-yr-vintage Belarussian heavyweight, earned his second instantly win after a five-fight skid with a unanimous resolution over the Netherlands’ Stefan Struve.
Unbeaten Brazilian bantamweight Ketlen Vieira opened the pay-per-view show with a cut up-choice victory over veteran Cat Zingano, who took her 3rd immediately loss in her return from an 18-month cage absence.
Earlier, touted strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern gained her UFC debut by means of split decision over Ashley Yoder, who capably survived several chokes from the jiu-jitsu prodigy within the ultimate mins.