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Frankie Edgar to replace Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung at UFC Busan

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Frankie Edgar

Former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is saving the day at UFC Busan.

Edgar has agreed to face Chan Sung Jung in the main event of the Dec. 21 fight card, according to multiple people with knowledge of the pending booking following a report from ESPN.com. UFC officials later confirmed the fight in a statement released on Wednesday.

“Due to a knee injury, Brian Ortega has been forced to withdraw from his December 21 bout with “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung. Stepping in for Ortega in the UFC Fight Night main event in Busan, South Korea, is former world champion Frankie Edgar,” UFC officials stated.

“Edgar is currently preparing for his bantamweight debut against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Raleigh on January, but wanted the opportunity to face Jung first.”

Jung lost his originally scheduled opponent for UFC Busan when onetime title challenger Brian Ortega suffered a torn ACL and was forced to withdraw from the event in South Korea. The search led to Edgar, who is five months removed from a loss to featherweight champ Max Holloway at UFC 240.

Edgar planned a move to bantamweight after that setback, his fourth title loss since losing the lightweight strap in 2012. After welcoming a detour with a fight against Conor McGregor, he subsequently signed with red-hot prospect Sandhagen, who’s won his past five since signing with the UFC.

Now, Edgar will postpone that cut with his fight against Jung scheduled for 145 pounds, Jung’s longtime fighting weight. The headlining bout is scheduled for five rounds.

As a result of the switch, Sandhagen’s wish to fight Edgar could be stymied. UFC Raleigh takes place less than one month after UFC Busan on Jan. 25. The promotion reportedly is seeking a backup for the ex-champ. According to sources, Edgar will reassess his next fight after the December fight card, and it could potentially still come against Cory Sandhagen in his bantamweight debut.

“The UFC is trying to do their jobs and save a huge card, which I get, but they’re also losing a shot at an opportunity to turn a young, new face into a star, and the Raleigh fans are going to be pretty bummed too,” Sandhagen told ESPN.com.