UFC star makes history with 'uppercut from hell'

AAP

Brian Ortega achieved a remarkable piece of history with a savage knockout of former champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.

Edgar (21-6-1) was stopped for the first time in his 13-year mixed martial arts career by Ortega (14-0), who likely earned a featherweight title shot against champion Max Holloway with his latest spectacular finish in Las Vegas on Sunday.

WHAT A BEAST: Wilder makes boxing history with brutal Ortiz KO

Ortega started the knockout with a sneaky left elbow that wobbled Edgar late in the first round and he landed several more punches before retreating and launching a perfect right uppercut in a partial clinch.

What a performance. Image: Getty

Edgar's knees buckled as he fell flat on his back, ending the fight in spectacular fashion.

Ortega, who used MMA to escape a troubled upbringing in the Los Angeles suburbs, has risen to the top of his division in remarkably swift fashion.





"I have worked really hard to get here and it's even more surreal than I could have imagined," Ortega said.

"I have too much respect for his wrestling so I knew that I could stand and bang with him. ... I just beat one of the best to ever do it. One of the real legends of this game is Frankie Edgar."

Uppercut from hell. Image: Getty

Meanwhile, Cris 'Cyborg' Justino (20-1, one no-contest) finished the show with her 10th consecutive victory against Yana Kunitskaya (10-4), a Russian veteran making her UFC debut on short notice.

The UFC champion had little trouble with the huge underdog, hurting Kunitskaya repeatedly with strikes before finishing her off with ground-and-pound.

Justino agreed to headline the card less than four weeks ago after Holloway was forced out of his main-event title defence against Edgar by injury.

Kunitskaya was a game opponent but she still hasn't reached the level necessary to contend with Cyborg, who hasn't lost since her MMA debut in 2005.

Belarussian heavyweight Andrei Arlovski earned his second straight win after a five-fight skid with a unanimous decision over the Netherlands' Stefan Struve.

Unbeaten Brazilian bantamweight Ketlen Vieira opened the show with a split-decision victory over veteran Cat Zingano.

Earlier, touted strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern won her UFC debut by split decision over Ashley Yoder, who survived several chokes from the jiujitsu prodigy in the final two minutes.