Former UFC champion Frankie Edgar put his #1 contender status on the line last night in the co-main event of UFC 222 versus rising contender Brian Ortega. After a few minutes of feeling each other out, Ortega took over with an elbow that led to a 1st round knockout. Backstage after the fight Ortega spoke with Megan Olivi about the fight.
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Brian Martin Ortega (born February 21, 1991) is an Mexican-American mixed martial artist currently competing in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A professional since 2010, he has also competed for the RFA, where he was the Featherweight Champion. Ortega was born in Los Angeles and is of Mexican descent. He grew up in section 8 housing project of San Pedro California. Brian Ortega is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner who trains at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy under Rorion Gracie, and his sons Ryron, Rener, and Ralek Gracie in Torrance, California. When Ortega was 17, he met boxing coach James Luhrsen who took him in and trained him in striking skills. Ortega began his career competing for regional promotions exclusively in Southern California. He won his first pro-MMA championship against Carlos Garces in a five round bout via unanimous decision, becoming the Respect In The Cage featherweight champion. Ortega went on to compile an undefeated record of 8-0 before signing with the UFC in April 2014. He credited his success to support and love from James Luhrsen and Rener Gracie
Frank James Edgar (born October 16, 1981) is an American mixed martial artist who competes as a Featherweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is a former UFC Lightweight Champion. He holds notable victories over former world champions Sean Sherk, Hermes França, B.J. Penn (x3), Urijah Faber as well as top featherweight contender Chad Mendes. As of June 5, 2017, Edgar is ranked as the #2 featherweight fighter. Born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey by Frank and Mary Annese, Frankie Edgar wrestled at Toms River High School East, making it to the New Jersey state championship tournament on three occasions, placing second as a junior and fifth as a senior. Edgar is the oldest of 3 children, Edgar went on to compete in the NHSCA Senior Nationals and placed second before he finished high school. He continued wrestling at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he qualified for the nationals all four years there. Edgar is also an assistant coach for the Rutgers University wrestling team. Frankie is of predominantly Italian descent, with an Italian-born mother, stepfather and paternal grandfather, but he also has some German ancestry on his biological father’s side.
Edgar entered his first mixed martial arts fight with only a few weeks of training outside of his wrestling background. Edgar originally trained with Rob Guarino of Rhino Fight Team, but today he is part of the Gracie system under Ricardo Almeida in Hamilton, NJ, who is part of the Gracie Barra team. Since seventh grade Edgar has wrestled with Steve Rivera at Elite Wrestling NJ in Jackson, NJ. His boxing trainer is Mark Henry of Millstone, NJ.