UFC 222 will now feature Cris “Cyborg” Justino against former Invicta bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya as the new main event after Max Holloway was unable to defend his featherweight title.
The women’s featherweight champion has been drafted in to save the show, set for March 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, after original headliner Holloway pulled out with a leg injury.
Brian Ortega will fight Frankie Edgar in a three-round, non-title bout as the co-main event.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the fights on FOX Sports’ UFC Tonight on Wednesday.
— UFC (@ufc) February 8, 2018
Kunitskaya will make her UFC debut. She was one of Holly Holm’s training partners before Holm took on Cyborg for the belt at UFC 219 in December.
Kunitskaya has two wins, two losses and a no-contest from her last five fights.
“She’s strong in the clinch or can fight at long range,” according to Invicta president Shannon Knapp. “She’s able to end a fight quickly, as we saw against [Tonya] Evinger, or has the cardio to go five rounds. And she’s tough as Mother Russia.”
Ortega’s last fight was an impressive second-round submission of Cub Swanson in December.
The winner of the Ortega-Edgar bout will likely face Holloway when he is back to full fitness.