Frankie Edgar is the frontrunner to replace Brian Ortega versus Chan Sung Jung on Dec. 21, sources say. Looking good. Yes, he’s scheduled to fight Cory Sandhagen next month, but UFC is hoping to keep the fight in tact, too. They would have to assess after the South Korea fight.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2019
Editor's note: The story has been updated at 8 p.m. ET on 12/5/2019 to reflect new information.
On Thursday, ESPN reported that Edgar (23-7-1) was being considered to replace Brian Ortega in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 165 on Dec. 21. MMAJunkie later reported that Edgar would indeed be taking the short-notice opportunity. The promotion confirmed this news on Thursday night.
The event was set to be headlined by Ortega against Chan Sung Jung (15-5), but Ortega was forced to withdraw on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury. Edgar is currently scheduled to face Cory Sandhagen at UFC Fight Night 166 on Jan. 25 at bantamweight, and he has not been pulled from the bout as the promotion has is considering him to remain in that matchup as well.
Edgar lost his last bout, where he faced Max Holloway for the featherweight strap at UFC 240 in July. The former lightweight king, Edgar has now lost five title fights, one shy of the record held by Randy Couture. As he has dropped five consecutive championship matchups, he became the fighter in organizational history to do so. Prior to the defeat against Holloway, Edgar took a decision over Cub Swanson in April 2018, in a rematch of their 2014 outing where he recorded one of the latest stoppages in UFC history at 4:56 into Round 5 by neck crank.
"The Korean Zombie" prevailed in his most recent appearance, finishing Renato Carneiro in less than one minute in the UFC Fight Night 154 headliner this June. Before that win, Jung engaged in a scrap worthy of "Fight of the Year" against Yair Rodriguez, while on the losing end of the Sherdog.com "Knockout of the Year" by a no-look elbow at 4:59 of the fifth stanza. Jung has earned seven post-fight bonuses following his seven trips to the UFC cage in his career. Edgar and Jung were originally slated to meet at UFC Fight Night 139, but Edgar suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw, so Rodriguez took his place.
UFC Fight Night 165 will take place on Dec. 21 at the Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea, where it will also feature a light heavyweight battle between Volkan Oezdemir and Aleksandar Rakic.