UFC 222 will remain a pay-per-view, and will remain headlined by a title fight. Cris Cyborg will return to action, defending her UFC women’s featherweight title against Yana Kunitskaya.
One half of the previous main event, Frankie Edgar, will now face Brian Ortega in the co-main event. Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting first reported the news. Edgar had been scheduled to fight UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, only for Holloway to be forced to pull out of the contest after suffering an injury in his training camp.
It marks Cyborg’s first appearance in the cage since her win over Holly Holm. It also marks a stark difference in notoriety of her opponent. While Holm vs. Cyborg was touted as one of the biggest fights in women’s mixed martial arts’ history, far less will know of Kunitskaya. The former bantamweight champion in Invicta FC, this will be both Kunitskaya’s featherweight and UFC debut. She is 2-2-1 in her last five outings, with a loss and no contest to Tonya Evinger.
It also puts to bed (for now at least) rumours of a July bout between Cyborg and UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
UFC 222 takes place March 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.