[UPDATE]: Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo reportedly remains in line to step in for the injured Frankie Edgar at UFC 218:
This fight still isn’t signed yet, but barring a last minute massive road block, it’s the fight.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 10, 2017
The UFC’s upcoming pay-per-view card on Dec. 2 has taken a big hit, with Frankie Edgar withdrawing from his scheduled championship headliner opposite featherweight titleholder Max Holloway at UFC 218. Brazilian media outlet Combate was the first to report the news, later confirmed by ESPN.com.
Edgar is said to be dealing with a facial injury that will require surgery, Combate reports. There’s no word on how long he may be out, or whether he’ll remain the No. 1 contender following his return.
He was set to challenge for UFC gold at 145 pounds for the third time in his career, doing so for the first time against somebody other than former champion Jose Aldo. A former lightweight champion himself, Edgar was welcomed into the featherweight class with an immediate title shot against Aldo in 2013. He lost that bout via unanimous decision. He was awarded another shot at the belt — albeit the interim title — again last July, facing off against Aldo once more. Aldo handed him a more decisive defeat this time around, once again winning via decision.
It’s unclear if Holloway will remain on the card, scheduled to take place in Detroit. But with just a little under a month to go, it’s entirely feasible for the UFC to find a fill-in opponent.
Cub Swanson, long voicing his desire for a title shot, is currently scheduled to face Brian Ortega in the main event at UFC Fight Night 123 just one week after Holloway’s scheduled title defense. He’s ranked fourth in the division and has four consecutive wins. His most recent defeat, dating back to April 2015, took place against Holloway. The UFC, of course, would need to fill in for Swanson’s bout on Dec. 9 if he were to be plucked.
It seems Swanson agrees on being a prime candidate.
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) November 8, 2017