Frankie Edgar sees upside of UFC trilogy with B.J. Penn


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

frankie-edgar-34-featured.jpg

(This story first appeared in Tuesday’s USA TODAY.)

Former UFC titleholder Frankie Edgar has many goals he’d still like to accomplish before the end of his MMA career.

However, in order to move toward those goals, Edgar (16-4-1 MMA, 10-4-1 UFC) had to accept a third fight with B.J. Penn (16-9-2 MMA, 12-8-2 UFC), another former UFC champion whom “The Answer” has defeated twice in the past.

Rarely does the UFC book a third fight between two athletes when one side took the first two meetings. But when Penn begged UFC President Dana White for another crack at Edgar, it led to a third match.

This time is different, though. Not only will Edgar and Penn meet at 145 pounds instead of lightweight, but they’ll also serve as opposing coaches on Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter” before squaring off inside the octagon. The latest season of the long-running reality competition premiers April 19 on Fox Sports 1.

“The whole package made me interested,” Edgar told USA TODAY Sports. “If you look at past coaches, they are big names in the UFC, so I think it was the best next step for me. In order to do that, I had to fight B.J. again.”

Edgar speaks highly of his time taping the show and said he is excited about the new level of exposure the series will bring to his career.

As far as his relationship with Penn, the 32-year-old insists it’s all business and has no quarrels with the former two-division titleholder who asked the UFC for this specific fight.

“He’s a competitor,” Edgar said. “People that are competitive, they always have a reason why they lost. They always think they can win. I get it – but I’m a competitor, too, so I’m ready to close the door on this trilogy and make it 3-0.”

Edgar and Penn will butt heads in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 6. The event will serve as the second half of the UFC’s “International Fight Week” double-header in Las Vegas after UFC 175, which takes place July 5.

“The Prodigy” currently is on a three-fight winless streak with just one victory in his past six UFC appearances. Despite that, Edgar thinks a victory is just as meaningful as when he took the lightweight title from Penn at UFC 112 and defended it in a rematch at UFC 118.

“He’s still got an aura about him,” Edgar said. “He’s a legend and probably one of the best lightweights that has ever fought in MMA. A win over him, if I can make it convincing, does a lot to help me in the title picture.”

That title picture, ultimately, is what’s most important to Edgar. Penn’s name still carries a lot of weight in MMA circles, and Edgar views the fight as a way to push him name to the top in a crowded featherweight division.

“I’m not fighting until July, and we’ll see what happens from there,” Edgar said of the potential for a title shot. “The fight game is funny. It’s not always who deserves the shot, it’s who’s in the best position for it.”

For the latest on The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 25 days ago
  • 11 views

The rivalry between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn is a unique one in the realm of combat sports because the two have always kept their fire confined to the Octagon. more

  • 26 days ago
  • 35 views

If you're a "Prodigy" fan, now's the time to haul ass over to the local betting window. Well, there's two ways of looking at this. Either Frankie Edgar is a god among featherweights, or BJ Penn is a washed-up tomato can. I'm not sure how else to explain the recent betting line from 5 Dimes (via Best Fight Odds), which has "The Answer" at -1050 for their Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale showdown, which takes place next Sunday (July 6, 2014) inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada ( more

  • 23 days ago
  • 26 views

If B.J. Penn loses his TUF 19 Finale fight to Frankie Edgar on Sunday, UFC President Dana White will suggest to the fighter that he should retire from mixed martial arts. more

  • 23 days ago
  • 19 views

Dana White said that if BJ Penn loses this third bout against Frankie Edgar, he will be pushing the former champion to retire. B.J. Penn has won UFC titles in two divisions, and as the sure-fire hall-of-fame fighter prepares to drop down on yet another weight class, Dana White has said that this may just be the last time he does compete for the promotion. According to the UFC president, if he doesn't win this third bout against Frankie Edgar, he will try to make 'the Prodigy' hang up the gloves. more

  • 23 days ago
  • 24 views

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that B.J. Penn is a future UFC Hall of Famer. His mixed martial arts career began inside the Octagon at UFC 31, and over the course of his career he elevated the lightweight division to its marquee status and is one of only two men to hold UFC titles in two weight classes. A win over Frankie Edgar at the TUF 19 Finale on Sunday could add a new chapter to the legacy of “The Prodigy.” Since losing the UFC lightweight title to Frankie Edgar in April of 2010, and t more

  • 22 days ago
  • 91 views

On Saturday, Chris Weidman will look to defend his middleweight title against Lyoto Machida, and Ronda Rousey will look to defend her title against Alexis Davis. The next day, Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn will meet for the third time, following their coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter. Penn and Edgar first fought at UFC 112, where Edgar won Penn's lightweight title by unanimous decision. Penn was granted an immediate rematch, and Edgar won a second unanimous decision, and he was more dominant tha more

  • 21 days ago
  • 34 views

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar expects a different BJ Penn but the same result in their third fight at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 5. more

  • 21 days ago
  • 56 views

Fans and media members in "Sin City" today (Thurs., July 3, 2014) got a sneak peek at this weekend's fireworks when the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion brought its top fighters together for the benefit of those with flash photography. Video highlights, too! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman came face-to-face with UFC 175 opponent Lyoto Machida today at the UFC 175 "Media Day," designed to promote their five-round championship clash on more

  • 21 days ago
  • 47 views

The Ultimate Fighter 19 season finale takes place on Sunday, and it is headlined by a battle of the coaches. For the third time, Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn will step inside the cage to oppose each other. The first two times both went the way of Edgar by unanimous decision. This time they meet at 145 pounds. UFC 112 was the site of the first meeting between the two legends, but Edgar was not yet a legend. In a close battle, Edgar got the nod on the judges' scorecards, but many felt like Penn did e more