With featherweight champion Max Holloway dealing with an ankle injury and his fight with Frankie Edgar off, the UFC was forced to call an audible for the main event at UFC 222.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino will now headline the event, defending her women’s featherweight title against UFC newcomer Yana Kunitskaya. In the co-main event, Edgar was rebooked to fight unbeaten contender Brian Ortega.
The promotion made the official announcement Wednesday night following an initial report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
— UFC (@ufc) February 8, 2018
UFC 222 takes place March 3 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Cyborg (19-1 with one no contest) recently defended her title with a unanimous decision victory over former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 219 in December. Cyborg, 32, is a physical specimen for the division and cuts a tremendous amount of weight to get to the 145-pound featherweight limit, so a three-month turnaround is uncommon for her.
Kunitskaya (10-3, 1 NC) is a former Invicta FC bantamweight champion coming off a unanimous decision win over Raquel Pa’aluhi. Kunitskaya vacated her belt Wednesday when she officially signed with the UFC.
Edgar (22–5–1) beat Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez in back-to-back fights to earn what he thought would be his third shot at the featherweight strap. The former lightweight champ will now have to defeat a skilled submission artist in Ortega to get a shot at Holloway.
Ortega (13-0, 1 NC) has finished all six of his UFC opponents and forced his past two foes, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano, to tap from guillotine chokes.
Here is a look at the complete fight card to date:
— “Cyborg” Justino vs. Yana Kunitskaya
— Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega
— Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
— Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski
— Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira
— Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern
— Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green
— John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
— C. B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
— Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow
— Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
— Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead