UFC 222 saw fighters at every stage of their career: Andrei Arlovski revitalizing his evergreen heavyweight career against Stefan Struve; young Sean O’Malley welcoming us all to the Suga Show from flat on his back in the most unusual Joe Rogan interview I’ve ever seen; established star Cris Cyborg flattening an unfortunate sacrificial offering in the first round; and, perhaps most memorably, Brian Ortega coming of age as a rising contender by knocking out Frankie Edgar.
It was Edgar’s first finish loss in 29 professional fights. Ortega rocked him with a gorgeous elbow, then finished him with a massive uppercut that sent the 36-year-old crashing to the canvas. The follow-up hammerfists mimicked the motion of driving nails into the coffin, which is all they were. Edgar was out, something we’ve never seen before.
I look for the kill all the time. I’m happy he was pressing forward, that we were both banging it out, and I caught him slippin’.
I felt a couple punches land, maybe like two overhand rights, and the crowd was like going “ahhhh!” and I was like, is this all he has? Not disrespecting his power, but when’s the shocker gonna come in? It didn’t come in, so I was like, I’m gonna press forward, I’m not feelin’ the damage right now... and I did.
He went on to talk about his charity work and how he’s been with his team from day one, as well as what’s next for him: Denny’s or Jack-in-the-Box. He had his order ready to go:
Spicy Chicken Sandwich, two tacos, three eggrolls, seven stuffed jalapeno poppers, and if I’m feeling crazy, Oreo cookie shake!
And sometime after that, of course, Max Holloway.