Frankie Edgar replaces Brian Ortega, will face TKZ in South Korea on Dec. 21

Frankie Edgar-The Korean Zombie-Brian Ortega-Cory Sandhagen-Renato Moicano-Max Holloway-UFC on ESPN+ 23-

Frankie Edgar will replace the injured Brian Ortega and face The Korean Zombie on short notice. The featherweights will collide in the UFC on ESPN+ 23 headliner on Dec. 21 in South Korea.

Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega was forced to pull out of his scrap against Chan ‘The Korean Zombie’ Sung Jung (15-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) yesterday, leaving the promotion with only 17 days to find a replacement for the UFC on ESPN+ 23 headliner at Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea.

As Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie initially reported, former lightweight champion Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar (23-7-1 MMA, 17-7-1 UFC) has come to the rescue. Edgar, who was booked to make his bantamweight debut against Cory Sandhagen on Jan. 25, will remain in the featherweight loop for at least one more fight.

Edgar fought for the 145-pound belt three times, coming up short in each instance (twice vs. Jose Aldo and against current featherweight kingpin Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway earlier this year).

Jung, also known as TKZ, still gets a fight on his home turf. He’s off a 58-second knockout win over Renato Moicano in the UFC Greenville headliner on June 22. TKZ garnered a Performance of the Night bonus, the seventh bonus of his career in seven Octagon appearances.

Ortega revealed today in an Instagram post that he suffered a partial tear of his ACL.

Ortega considered staying in the fight until doctors told him “the risk of a full rupture in the fight was high and that would put me out for up to a year.” As it stands, he hopes to only be out 2-3 months.

Coming off his loss to Holloway, the 38-year-old Edgar figured his best chance at making another title run would be in the 135-pound division. Now those plans are on hold.

Sandhagen wasn’t happy about the news. He expressed his thoughts to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani:

Most books had Ortega vs. TKZ listed as a pick ’em. The odds for TKZ-Edgar aren’t out yet, but you can expect TKZ to be favored somewhere in the -160/-200 range.

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