When UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was forced out of his scheduled title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 on Saturday, the company tried to implement a Plan B. Ortega was to remain in the card, but would instead face fellow top contender Jeremy Stephens.
Instead, “T-City” decided to turn down the said offer, and in a recent Instagram post, he declared that he was standing by his decision while stating that he is no yes man. But according to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, this decision may have just cost Ortega the title shot that he had worked for.
“Everybody has their own reasons,” Edgar told TMZ Sports (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I took that fight because I wanted to fight, I wanted to get in there. He’s a young kid, maybe he thinks it’s too risky and he didn’t want to risk his chance but sometimes when you have a chance to fight for an interim title, you’ve got to jump on it because who knows?
“Now Brian’s pissed off UFC and company, maybe they might not give him that shot.”
Edgar has established a reputation for himself as a fight that takes on all-comers, no ifs, ands, or buts. While he does agree that the undefeated Ortega still warrants the title shot, he also sees the possible repercussions of turning down fights for whatever reason.
“I still think he deserves it. He worked towards it,” Edgar said of his former opponent. “I can see why he didn’t want to risk it but he’s got to realize what might come with that. When that title comes around you’ve got to jump at it because it can get taken from you even without you doing anything wrong.”
From his end, Edgar says he would jump on the opportunity to fight immediately, but intends for his next fight to take place at UFC 230 on November 3rd, which is the UFC’s annual New York City card that has been taking place at Madison Square Garden since 2016.