UFC 222 has been saved.
After days of negotiations and frantic rumors, the UFC has scheduled Cris “Cyborg” Justino vs. Yana Kunitskaya for the women’s Featherweight title on March 3 in Las Vegas. The news was first reported by MMAFighting before being confirmed later on in the day, Wednesday night.
The fight will replace the card’s original headliner, Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar for the men’s Featherweight title, which was canceled last week after Holloway suffered an ankle injury in preparation for the fight.
As for Edgar (22-5-1, 16-5-1 in UFC), he will now face Brian Ortega (13-0, 5-0 in UFC) in a non-title bout in the co-main event of the night. The winner is expected to be next in line for a title shot when Holloway is back from injury.
Justino (19-1 and 1 NC,4-0 in UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Holly Holm in December at UFC 219. She hasn’t lost an MMA bout since her pro debut in 2005. Her decision with Holm snapped a eight-fight finishing streak.
Kunitskaya (10-3, 1-1 in Invicta FC), who is 2-2 with one no contest in her last five fights, is the former Invicta FC bantamweight champion. She announced last month that she would be moving up to the Featherweight division. This fight will mark her UFC debut.
Edgar hasn’t fought since May of last year, when he defeated Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211 in dominant fashion. Ortega extended his record to a perfect 13-0 (1 NC) last December when he submitted Cub Swanson in the second round of a five-round main event fight.
The UFC also tried to book T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt 2 for the men’s bantamweight title as the new UFC 222 main event, but that fight failed to materialize.
UFC 222 is scheduled to take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3. The card this far reads:
Main Card (Pay per view)
- Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya
- Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega
- Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
- Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski
- Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
- Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern
- Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green
- John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
- C. B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
- Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow
- Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
- Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead