With featherweight champion Max Holloway out of UFC 222’s main event due to an injury, the promotion are currently scrambling to find a replacement, and a couple of high-profile stars have signaled their interest in stepping up on short notice.
first up is Nate Diaz, who confirmed to the L.A. Times that he would be willing to take the headline spot on the card, but presumably he’d be looking for a bumper payday to step in on just four weeks notice, and Dana White doesn’t appear to be taking his interest too seriously at this stage.
“He [Diaz] doesn’t want to fight,” White told the Times.
“We have made around five or six fights in the last six months and he has turned them all down. Alvarez, [Justin] Gaethje, [Edson] Barboza and [interim lightweight champion Tony] Ferguson multiple times.”
The other fighter who has signaled his interest in saving the card is former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, who already tried to line up a title fight with TJ Dillashaw on the card, only to be left disappointed when his rival refused.
However, now Garbrandt has a new target in mind for the show after Max Holloway’s intended opponent, Frankie Edgar indicated he was open to fighting anyone the UFC had in mind.
“I’m down for anyone, any fight, any weight class. Let’s save this fight card! @danawhite @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2,” Edgar wrote.
“@AliAbdelaziz00 get us paid I’m down!! #fightersfight,” Garbrandt responded.
It remains to be seen if that’s the kind of fight that the UFC would be interested in though as they were already believed to be working on a match-up between Edgar and Brian Ortega, albeit not to take the main event spot on the card.