Let’s hope Frankie Edgar brings a silver bullet to “Sin City.”
That’s where the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion will try to keep his spot atop the 145-pound leaderboard — and preserve his title shot against Max Holloway — by turning away rising contender Brian Ortega.
They’ll do the deed in the UFC 222 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, a slot “The Answer” agreed to fill when “Blessed” bowed out of their March 3 headliner, held inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, after suffering a debilitating leg injury.
So why do they call Ortega “T-City?”
Because the 27 year-old submission specialist has three wins by triangle choke (“T”), including his UFC 195 victory over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 champion Diego Brandao roughly two years back.
According to the nerds at the UFC Performance Institute, who use bro science to gauge the capabilities of high-level mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, Ortega’s triangle choke (425 lbs.) rivals that of a wolf’s bite (500 lbs.).
His guillotine choke, used in wins over Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 123) and Renato Carneiro (UFC 214), generates 365 lbs. of force.
Both scenarios present problems for his opponent, as Edgar is a wrestler by trade, and could find himself in a guillotine if he haphazardly shoots, or a triangle choke if he becomes careless in guard.
Two submissions that appear to be inescapable, though it should be noted that Edgar (22-5-1) has never been finished in 13 years of professional cage fighting. But hey, there’s a first time for everything.
“This is a great challenge, because it puts that extra edge on me,” Ortega (13-0, 1 NC) told MMA Junkie. “I’m the kind of guy that if you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do it. Like, ‘Hey Brian, you can’t do a backflip off that two-story building and land on your feet.’ I’m going to give it a shot. So, when they say, hey, this guy’s never been finished – for me, it’s just like, let’s go for it. Let’s see if we can do it.”
We’ll find out if he can in less than 48 hours.
For much more on this weekend’s upcoming UFC 222 event click here.