UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is out of his bout with Frankie Edgar at UFC 222. No replacement for the main event has been announced as of yet.
According to a report by ESPN, sources are saying Max Holloway is injured and will be pulled officially out of the UFC 222 by the promotion shortly. Holloway was scheduled to face Franke Edgar at the event on March 3 in Las Vegas. The UFC is now currently scrambling to find a new main event as Holloway and Edgar were the only pay-per-view caliber stars on the card.
Holloway won the UFC featherweight championship last June when he defeated long-time champion José Aldo. He made his first title defense in a rematch against Aldo in the main event of UFC 218 in December. This marks the second time that a bout between Holloway and Edgar has failed to materialize, as Edgar pulled out of their first scheduled fight in December with a facial injury. Holloway was named Fighter of the Year by both the UFC and Rolling Stone following his 2017 campaign. The upcoming bout was critical as the UFC has been exploring holding an event in Holloway’s native Hawaii. UFC 222 was expected to be a gauge for Holloway’s drawing power to test the feasibility of holding a PPV event in the Hawaiian market.
Frankie Edgar, meanwhile, is currently ranked second in the division and is on a two fight win-streak with victories over Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez. Edgar is a former lightweight champion and has challenged for the featherweight title twice since 2013. “The Answer” has not fought since last May.
As reported by Mike Bohn of USAToday Sports, the loss of the bout is the sixth main or co-main event to be cancelled in 2018 so far.
Since I know you all love this game: Max Holloway's UFC 222 withdrawal marks the SIXTH main or co-main event change to the UFC calendar so far in 2018.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) February 3, 2018
There is no word yet on a replacement for the main event or if Edgar will elect to stay on the card. Brian Ortega is currently ranked third in the featherweight division following his victory over Cub Swanson in December should the UFC be looking for an opponent for Edgar.
Other bouts that have been circulating are high profile champion vs champion bouts such as Demetrious Johnson facing TJ Dillashaw or Cris Cyborg vs Amanda Nunes. Either bout could feasibly salvage the pay-per-view but would require all participants to agree to take the bout on exactly a month’s notice. There is also the possibility of UFC 223 co-headliners Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jędrzejczyk being moved to the card.
This story will be updated as the story develops.