Posts Tagged ‘Frankie Edgar’

UFC 162 Predictions: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman

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Despite the growing hype around his opponent, all three of SI's MMA experts expect Anderson Silva to win. (AP)

Despite the growing hype around his opponent, all three of SI’s MMA experts expect Anderson Silva to win. (AP)

SI.com analysts Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 162, which takes place Saturday (10 p.m. ET) and will be live-blogged on SI.com.

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman

HUNT: I have to hand it to Weidman and the UFC. I can’t remember the last time a virtually unknown fighter stirred up this much hype as the usurper to the Silva dynasty. I feel like I’m standing alone on a platform where the train has long left the station. Is Weidman the one? He looked promising against a crippled Munoz, who couldn’t move his shoulder six weeks before the bout. I’m sticking with the aging Spider — I can always catch the later train. Silva by TKO

WAGENHEIM: Are we putting too much weight on Weidman’s most high-profile victory, in light of what we now know about the physical and mental state of Mark Muñoz on the night last summer when Chris pummeled him? On the other hand, shouldn’t Weidman’s plodding performance in his second-biggest fight get a pass, considering that he took on (and beat) the estimable Demian Maia on just 11 days’ notice? My point: The jury is still out on the 9-0 challenger. Not so with the champ, who’d already had 29 pro bouts, including four defenses of the UFC middleweight belt, by the time Weidman began his MMA career four years ago. I want to be sold on the good-natured yet bad-to-the-bone Weidman, but I’m not yet ready to liquidate my Silva stock. Silva by TKO.

WERTHEIM: The skills of Weidman are lost on no one but the upset pick — and it’s a hot one — feels more hopeful and whimsical than legitimate. Silva is MMA’s GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) and it’s because of his versatility and adaptability. If there’s a weakness in his game, it would have been exposed by now. Is Weidman — coming off a year-long layoff, under huge pressure, having faced no opponent nearly as skilled — ready? I say close by not quite. Silva by TKO.

Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

HUNT: Three tough losses for former champion Edgar has strewn him towards the bottom of the heap. Oliveira is actually more in the middle, a talented featherweight who can clear out the bottom rung, but struggles with the contenders. Edgar by decision.

WAGENHEIM: Edgar enters on an unthinkable three-fight losing streak. But all of the ex-lightweight champ’s defeats were in title fights. Coming out on the wrong end of uber-close decisions against Benson Henderson (twice) and José Aldo can be explained away. A loss to Charles Oliveira could not be. Having fought a higher grade of opponents, Frankie now needs to outclass this guy. Edgar by decision.

WERTHEIM: Both fighters have something to prove. Edgar hasn’t won a fight in almost two years and Oliviera’s star is falling, having not only lost but missed weight in his last fight. This bout feels like an attempt by the UFC to reignite the career of Edgar, a grinding honest fighter. I say he outwrestles and outworks Oliviera. Edgar by decision.

Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie

HUNT: This was a bout that would have eventually played out in Strikeforce, if the promotion was still standing. I expect Kennedy to close the distance to negate Grace’s reach advantage and rack up points on the cage and with an occasional and carefully executed takedown (you don’t want this Gracie on his back too long). If he executes correctly, Kennedy is in the clear. Kennedy by decision.

WAGENHEIM: The majority of Kennedy’s wins have come by submission, but he would be wise to go with Plan B right from the start this time. Tim should know better than to mess with Gracie on the mat. But I’m guessing he’ll play with fire anyway, and get scorched. Gracie by submission.

WERTHEIM: An interesting fight and contrast of styles. Can Kennedy beat Gracie to the punch, as Mo Lawal did? Or can Gracie utilize his size advantage to defend striking and take the fight to the ground? I’ll go with the latter. Gracie by submission.

Mark Muñoz vs. Tim Boetsch

HUNT: Muñoz impressed the MMA sphere this week with his very own Extreme Makeover reveal — the dude lost 62 pound in 5 months! How does this relate to my pick? Munoz gained that weight during a downslide: coming into the Weidman fight with his shoulder surgery still not healed and out of that disaster with a broken foot. If the four-time All American wrestler is back in fighting condition, Boetsch can only hope to throw off some scattered punches here and there before he’s scooped to the mat and eating some Grade A ground-and-pound leather. Muñoz by TKO.

WAGENHEIM: Both were on track for a title shot — Muñoz farther along than Boetsch. Both were derailed — Muñoz more shockingly. Afterward, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” crashed and burned. Now he faces a road test he simply cannot fail if he’s to stay in the race. Muñoz by decision.

WERTHEIM: Muñoz got plenty of attention in MMA World last week when he revealed that his depression following the loss to Weidman caused his weight to drift north of 260 lbs. Good for him for dropping more than 50 lbs. in seven months. But it’s not the ideal pre-fight regimen, physically or mentally. Still, he’s a superior fighter to Boetsch, 32, whose momentum was stopped by Constantinos Philippou at UFC 155. Muñoz by decision.

Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver

HUNT: SoCal survivor Swanson has definitely found his stride: four straight wins in 13 months, with one of them on short notice. When he fights aggressively and uses his speed, things come together for him. Siver, like the oncoming tank that he is, lacks the latter. Swanson by decision.

WAGENHEIM: Swanson is on a roll with four straight wins, three by KO. Siver, in winning six of his last seven, has shown himself to be a survivor. Dennis will be no pushover, but he won’t withstand Cub’s ferocity. Swanson by TKO.

WERTHEIM: An erratic fighter for much of his career, Swanson has matured at the Jackson/Winklejohn Gym. Almost 30, he is on a four-fight win streak and has become one of the more dangerous strikers in the division. Siver is a tough customer with plenty of experience. But Swanson is the stronger fighter. Swanson by TKO.


  • Published On Jul 03, 2013
  • Overeem, Aldo and Edgar top the lucrative UFC 156 purses

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    Frankie Edgar

    Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar were handsomely rewarded for their UFC 156 bout [Eric Jameson/AP]

    The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the reported purses from Saturday night’s UFC 156 fight card, headlined by Jose Aldo’s unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar.  These amounts do not include performance-based bonuses given to fighters.

    Fighter Purse Win Bonus Total
    Jose Aldo

    $120,000

    $120,000

    $240,000

    Frankie Edgar

    $120,000

    $120,000

    $240,000

    Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

    $107,000

    $67,000

    $174,000

    Rashad Evans

    $300,000

    $300,000

    Antonio Bigfoot Silva

    $70,000

    $0

    $70,000

    Alistair Overeem

    $285,714.29

    $285,714

    Demian Maia

    $60,000

    $60,000

    $120,000

    Jon Fitch

    $66,000

    $66,000

    Ian McCall

    $9,000

    $9,000

    Joseph Benavidez

    $30,000

    $30,000

    $60,000

    Evan Dunham

    $23,000

        $23,000

    $46,000

    Gleison Tibau

    $33,000

    $33,000

    James Hieron

    $12,000

    $12,000

    Tyron Woodley

    $43,500

    $43,500

    $87,000

    Bobby Green

    $10,000

    $10,000

    $20,000

    Jacob Vokmann

    $22,000

    $22,000

    Isaac Vallie-Flagg

    $10,000

    $10,000

    $20,000

    Yves Edwards

    $21,000

    $21,000

    Dustin Kimura

    $8,000

    $8,000

    $16,000

    Chico Camus

    $8,000

    $8,000

    Franciso Rivera

    $8,000

    $8,000

    $16,000

    Edwin Figueroa

    $10,000

    $10,000

     — Melissa Segura


  • Published On Feb 04, 2013
  • For his biggest fight, Edgar returns to scene of his other biggest fight

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    Frankie Edgar

    Frankie Edgar (left) defeated Tyson Griffin in his UFC debut on Feb. 3, 2007. [Josh Hedges/ Zuffa LLC via Getty Images]

    LAS VEGAS — When Frankie Edgar makes the long, lonely walk to the octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday night, he might experience a flashback to the other time he made the long, lonely walk to the octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the biggest fight of his career.

    It was six years ago almost to the day, at the traditional Super Bowl Weekend fight card on Feb. 3, 2007. Edgar was 6-0 at the time, but he’d fought outside his native New Jersey only once, in his first professional bout on an unsanctioned card in a dingy gym in the Bronx. Now he was under the sparkling lights of Vegas for UFC 67, making his debut with the sport’s behemoth fight promotion.

    So while the then-25-year-old’s fight with Tyson Griffin was one of the early prelims — not the main event, as will be the case this weekend when Edgar (15-3-1) tries to dethrone featherweight king Jose Aldo — it sure was a big deal to Frankie. Griffin was also unbeaten, with wins over Duane Ludwig and Urijah Faber. Edgar, meanwhile, took the fight on four weeks’ notice and had his training interrupted by “the worst sinus infection of my life.”

    “I remember just coming here and that week I felt like I still had to get in shape to fight on Saturday,” he recalled in a conversation with reporters on Thursday. “It was wild, man.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 01, 2013
  • Experts’ Predictions for UFC 156

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    Jose Aldo

    Two of SI.com’s three experts believe Jose Aldo (above) will defeat Frankie Edgar on Saturday. (Andrew Richardson/Icon SMI)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Wagenheim provide their predictions for UFC 156 on Saturday in Las Vegas. 

    Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

    HUNT: This is one of those rare occasions where I’m glad a fighter was cajoled into something he didn’t want to do. After a stellar run at lightweight, the smaller Edgar makes his featherweight debut against the explosive Brazilian champ, who will finally have an opponent who can match his speed and skill. Trilogy potential here. Aldo by decision.

    DOYLE: This is the toughest pick I’ve had to make in seven years covering MMA. I’ve changed my mind 100 times and might change it 100 more before fight time. As of now, I think Aldo’s kicks will be enough to keep Edgar from getting his offense fully untracked. Aldo via decision. 

    WAGENHEIM: Anyone have a coin I can borrow to flip? Too many variables here for the math to make any sense to me, so let me try to keep it simple: Aldo has won 14 straight fights, while Edgar has lost two in a row. So obviously the answer is… well, “The Answer” is Frankie. Why? Because he always has an adjustment, an answer, for anything thrown at him. So look for him to weather an early storm (been there, done that) and settle into a rhythm and a pace that gradually makes him the lead in this dance. Edgar by decision.

    Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogério Nogueira

    HUNT: Speed and nimbler footwork will give Evans the edge against the more plodding Nogueira. Evans by TKO.

    DOYLE: “Li’l Nog” has always been just a cut below the championship level, and he isn’t getting any younger. Evans is going to be motivated in his first fight since losing to Jon Jones. I smell 30-27 across the board. Evans via decision.

    WAGENHEIM: “Little Nog” is coming off a win, but beating Tito Ortiz does not mean what it used to. On the other hand, losing to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader speaks volumes. Nogueira is a solid light heavy, but Rashad is simply too quick, too slick, too good for him to contend with. Where a victory here will lead “Suga Rashad” is uncertain, but that’s a question for another day. Evans by KO.

    Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

    HUNT: This is a career re-builder for Overeem, whose reputation took the hit everyone anticipated when he was flagged for steroid use last summer. With a brutally bloody battering from Cain Velasquez still in the back of his mind, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound “Big Foot” won’t be overshadowed by Overeem’s stature, but he will be bullied on its feet and from his back. Overeem by TKO.

    DOYLE: I’m calling an upset here. Overeem has been out a year and his win streak is frankly a bit of a hype. Silva seems to perform best when he’s counted out. “Bigfoot” tags a rusty Overeem and scores the early finish. Silva via TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Overeem might be rusty after being idle since December 2011, and “Bigfoot” might have what it takes to step up. Silva is coming off an upset of rising heavyweight Travis Browne, and the two losses that preceded it were to the iron of the division, Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. But “The Reem” has too much riding on this. Overeem by KO.

    Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

    HUNT: BJJ black belt Maia’s work ethic is top-tier in and he constantly pushes himself out of his comfort zone to even out his skill set. This isn’t necessarily a bad matchup for him — Fitch is a wrestler and Maia is a shark on the canvas — but if Fitch pushes this one to the fence and lingers there, he can eat crucial time and ride out a decision. Fitch by decision.

    DOYLE: Fitch has never been known to take easy fights. This is no different. Maia’s undergone a career rebirth at welterweight, but ultimately, Fitch’s wrestling and submission defense will be too much for the jiu-jitsu specialist. Fitch by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: Wouldn’t it be a cool turnabout if the crowd were to boo as the fighters come out of their corners and trade punches, then let out one of those bloodthirsty cheers as soon as they take the contest to the mat? After all, it is in the grappling (usually a dirty word for cageside fans) where the magic will happen. Fitch by decision.

    Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

    HUNT:  A rebound fight for Benavidez, the faster, more assertive, and most importantly, more marketable fighter of the pair coming off a split decision loss against champion Johnson. Benavidez by submission.

    DOYLE: McCall’s had a nice run at flyweight, but Benavidez is simply a notch above. I see a dominant win for Benavidez, the type that demands a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s title. Benavidez via submission.

    WAGENHEIM: I must admit I was surprised to see Demetrious Johnson beat Benavidez, who I thought was going to own the new UFC flyweight division. Now Joseph faces a guy “Mighty Mouse” had to fight twice on the way to the championship. All roads lead to rematch, no? Benavidez by decision.


  • Published On Jan 31, 2013
  • Knock us over with a feather: Edgar to challenge for Aldo’s belt at UFC 153

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    So now we know the new formula for securing a title shot in the UFC: Lose two straight championship fights in your weight class, then move to another division and, Voila!

    That was the path cleared a week ago for Chael Sonnen, who less than two months removed from a TKO loss in his second challenge of middleweight champion Anderson Silva was offered a shot at light heavyweight belt holder Jon Jones. (That fight fell through, of course, as did all of UFC 151 amid a fiery scenario we’ve already beaten to death and will not rehash here.)

    Now that same yellow brick road is being paved for Frankie Edgar.

    The former lightweight champion, who just three weeks ago lost a tight, much-debated decision in his attempt to regain the belt from Benson Henderson, will drop down to featherweight to challenge José Aldo on Oct. 13 at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro. Aldo was scheduled to face Erik Koch, but USA Today reported late Thursday that Koch suffered an undisclosed injury in training and was a no-go.

    No doubt UFC president Dana White breathed a sigh of relief when his champion gave the OK to a change of opponent this time. To be fair, Aldo has a full six weeks to prepare for Edgar, while Jones was being asked to step in with Sonnen on essentially three days of training.

    That’s not the only reason this featherweight fight has more appeal and way more credibility than the late-replacement title bout Dana & Co. tried to foist upon us last week. Unlike Sonnen, Edgar has been a champion. Unlike Sonnen, Edgar is ranked in most every pound-for-pound Top 10 you’ll find. And perhaps most important from a competitive angle, while Sonnen would have been stepping up to a division 20 pounds heavier and therefore taking on a bigger, stronger athlete, Edgar will be moving down 10 pounds. He’s always been a small lightweight, anyway, fighting close to his walk-around weight and using quickness to deal with being outmuscled. Now Frankie will be basically picking on someone his own size.

    Aldo vs. Edgar might not be a “superfight,” a designation that should be reserved for a meeting of two reigning champions. But it has the makings of a super fight … and a super opportunity — for Aldo, who can use a high-profile challenge like this to launch himself into the MMA stratosphere, and especially for Edgar, who after two straight losses to Henderson appeared to be out of opportunities at lightweight.

    Frankie acknowledged as much when he took to Twitter after midnight and wrote, “Thanks to all of the UFC fans for all of the support. And thank you @danawhite & [UFC co-owner/CEO] @lorenzofertitta for the opportunity.” Then, in the morning, Frankie tweeted out the fight announcement and added this hashtag: #herewego.

    Here we go, indeed.

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Aug 31, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 150

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    Benson Henderson (left) looks to show his February victory over Frankie Edgar (right) was no fluke on Saturday at UFC 150 in Denver. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 150 on Saturday in Denver.

    Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar

    DOYLE: Can Edgar avoid the fight-changing strikes of the sort he took from Henderson in their first fight? As simplistic as it sounds, it comes down to that. These guys are close to stylistic mirror images in their standup games, but Henderson is bigger and more powerful. This match is winnable for Edgar if he fights a mistake-free battle, but in the end, I see Henderson maneuvering his way to the win. Henderson by decision.

    HUNT: We have probably the biggest lightweight in the division taking on the smallest one here. Henderson has already proven he can keep up with Edgar’s frenetic pace and he’ll use his physicality again to stifle him. Henderson by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: After the first of Edgar’s two impossible comebacks against Gray Maynard, I swore to myself that I’d never, ever pick against the guy. Henderson is bigger, stronger and more dangerous, but a pledge is a pledge. I’d hate to later have to tell myself “I told you so.” Edgar by decision.

    WERTHEIM: I’m going with Edgar in the rematch. True, he’s less athletic and lost the first time. But says here, he’s motivated and has a new fightplan. The conventional wisdom is that he needs to be on his feet to win, but the guy was a college wrestler — is it fatal if he gets grounded? Edgar by decision.

    Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard

    DOYLE: This lightweight contenders’ showdown has the potential for fireworks, as both guys know how to stand and bang. But there’s the thousand-mile-wide hole in Guillard’s game: Nine of his 10 losses are by submission. Cerrone has submitted 13 opponents. This one should be spectacular before Guillard commits a fatal error and Cerrone finishes him. Cerrone by submission.

    HUNT: Cerrone was on a nice little roll until he lost to Nate Diaz in January and we saw dramatic improvement in his transitions and overall skillset along the way. Though he’s the superior athlete, Guillard is hit or miss when harnessing that natural ability into MMA skills. I like Cerrone’s steady climb to Guillard’s hills and valleys. Cerrone by submission.

    WAGENHEIM: Some people can’t understand how close friends can stand to punch each other in the face. But to give yourself a sporting chance, you do whatever the competitor inside demands that you to do. One thing you don’t do is go easy. Cerrone by KO.

    WERTHEIM: These know each other well, a current and former member of the Jackson camp. Guillard hasn’t been the same since he left and needs the win. But Cerrone is a more clever and resourceful fighter. As long as he doesn’t get caught with a haymaker … Cerrone by decision.
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  • Published On Aug 10, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 144

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    Frankie Edgar defends his lightweight title against Ben Henderson on Saturday at UFC 144 outside Tokyo. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    SI.com analysts Ben Fowlkes, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 144 on Saturday in Japan.

    Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson

    FOWLKES: Edgar’s giving up some size and strength to Henderson, but when you’re a 155-pounder who doesn’t cut weight, you’ve got to be used to that. Edgar’s speed and unpredictability rules the day in a close one. Edgar by decision.

    HUNT: Edgar’s a solid champion with fast hands, but I’ve been waiting for Bendo to get his shot for a while. He has the physical strength, flexibility and scrambling superiority to outscore Edgar — it won’t be easy, but it’s doable. Henderson by decision. 

    WAGENHEIM: Henderson has no quit in him, but I don’t think he’ll have an answer for “The Answer,” who is speedy, active and grappling-savvy enough to determine where the fight will be fought. Edgar by decision.

    WERTHEIM: Edgar’s wrestling and cardio are top-shelf (if not peerless). He takes a punch and he fights smart. Hard to see Henderson cracking that code. Edgar by decision.

    Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader

    FOWLKES: Bader’s chin is questionable and Jackson’s power isn’t. A chance to fight in Tokyo again should be all the motivation “Rampage” needs to take this seriously and get the job done. Jackson by TKO.

    HUNT: Jackson lost his passion for the game a while ago. (Becoming an international movie star in The A-Team reboot can do that to you). However, he packs a meaner punch than Bader’s and can match wits in wrestling. Jackson should also get the jump start he needs back on Japanese soil, where his greatest days will come flooding back to him. Jackson by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: It’s a homecoming of sorts for “Rampage,” so he wants to put on a show. But Bader has a higher purpose motivating him: He’s loath to take another step backward. And if the wrestler needs to make this a not-so-entertaining 15 minutes to get the job done, so be it. Bader by decision.

    WERTHEIM: Potential Fight of the Night. Which Rampage shows up? The aging veteran choked out by Jon Jones; or the savvy fighter who decisioned two good opponents before that? It says here the latter. Jackson by decision.
    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 24, 2012
  • Stock Watch: UFC 136

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    Frankie Edgar (right) scored a fourth-round knockout of longtime rival Gray Maynard to defend his UFC lightweight title on Saturday in Houston. (AP)

    Finally, some clarity.

    The belt still resides around lightweight champ Frankie Edgar’s waist following his trilogy with Gray Maynard in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 136, and finally, business can resume in the store of available contenders. The queue got shorter early in the evening when Melvin Guillard tapped to Joe Lauzon in 47 seconds flat to halt his title bid. That puts the focus squarely on the result of two upcoming bouts: Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida, which is set as the co-main for UFC on FOX 1, and Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal, which headlines a yet-unannounced Strikeforce card set for Dec. 17.

    The more compelling of the winners is likely to get the first crack at Edgar, who will take some much-needed recovery time as the title picture comes into focus. A small caveat: The lesser-known Masvidal won’t get the shot if he manages to upset Melendez, who’s been waging a long P.R. campaign for a crossover and has the ear of UFC president Dana White.

    That should occupy Edgar for the next year, but if he’s not vacating the belt for featherweight — and I’m guessing he’s not any time soon — there’s a long list of tough guys within reach. Should be an interesting 2012.

    And now, here’s a stockwatch. Buys on the list should be as surprising as a cageside sighting of Steven Seagal.

    Buy

    Frankie Edgar (14-1-1): With a champion’s mix of guts and skill, Edgar is the toughest guy on the Jersey shore and, maybe, inside the octagon. I wouldn’t put him at No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings, but No. 3 looks about right. He’s now beaten Maynard, B.J. Penn (twice), former champ Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, Jim Miller, and done so at a physical disadvantage that veers toward criminal in boxing. The 170-if-he’s-been-to-Buca-di-Beppo Edgar proceeds like it’s nothing. Maynard had him dead to rights on a takedown when he overextended a punch in the fourth. It was perfectly timed, and he sprawled and stuffed a guy who cuts from a minimum of 175 pounds.

    About that weight: It’s not surprising that concern for Edgar’s long-term well being has underscored the second defense of his belt. When I think of the damage he took in the first round from the bigger Maynard, I remember lightweight Antonio McKee, the king of wrestling “blankets,” telling me how much time he lost when he tried, for once, to be a gunslinger and how much time he lost when his opponent cracked him. I remember welterweight Rory Markham telling me he heard cartoons when he took a stiff punch. I remember another very popular welterweight that shall go unnamed tell me he lost his sense of smell for a month after getting kicked in the head.

    The point is, the brain is a fragile device, as we’re well aware in this era of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Shots like those set the timer running and punch the punchcard. How long one fighter remains unaffected is left to the mysteries of the brain. What we do know, however, is that at some point, there’s nothing left. The 29-year-old Edgar’s card has two punches, probably more. That will in all likelihood make him increasingly susceptible to brief lapses of consciousness upon contact with his jaw. Will 10 fewer pounds protect him? Maybe. It may also have absolutely no bearing. Edgar is doing more than fine at lightweight. Change is more likely to come from a blow to the ego (a loss) or financial incentive (Uncle Dana).

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  • Published On Oct 10, 2011
  • Edgar, Maynard to complete unlikely trilogy

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    Gray Maynard knocks down Frankie Edgar during the first round of their second meeting on New Year's Day 2011. The two complete their trilogy Saturday. (AP)

    After seeing the first fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, I felt certain of two things: 1) Maynard was the superior lightweight, and 2) No one who valued money would pay to see them fight each other two more times. I guess it just goes to show how wrong I can be when I really put my mind to it.

    If you’d told me back in 2008 that Edgar-Maynard would be a trilogy that fight fans would not only enjoy, but almost unanimously view as being totally worth a 10-month wait for the conclusion, I would have advised you not to operate any heavy machinery for a little while.

    But that was before we saw their second fight — still the best fight of 2011 so far — and also before the unfinished business between the two of them caused a title fight logjam in what is arguably the UFC’s deepest division.

    That makes for at least two reasons why Edgar-Maynard III may be the most anticipated lightweight title fight in recent memory. For one, their second bout was as thrilling as the first was anesthetizing, so there are high hopes for the third. For another, no matter how exciting this rivalry is and who emerges with the UFC 155-pound strap when it’s all over with, the division is dying for them to wrap this up already.

    For those joining this program already in progress, the trouble stems from injuries and uncertainty, though not necessarily in that order. After Maynard won a decision in their first bout, the two met with Edgar’s UFC lightweight title on the line back on Jan. 1 of this year and fought to a draw after five bloody, back-and-forth rounds. The UFC decided it was only fair to give them another 25 minutes to settle it once and for all, but training camp injuries to both men pushed the fight from May to October.

    That might not have been such a big deal if the weight class wasn’t overflowing with talent. Guys like Melvin Guillard, Clay Guida, Ben Henderson — not to mention Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez — have all started to look like potential challengers for the belt in recent months. And yet due to the unresolved issues between Edgar and Maynard, that very belt has spent the last 10 months collecting dust in Edgar’s closet.

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  • Published On Oct 05, 2011


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