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 >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dos Anjos sees Mexico City as platform for title redemption

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

How much of a risk is it to accept a match in the lofty altitude of Mexico City against the winner of eight straight fights, Tony Ferguson? For former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, it presen read news >>

UFC Mexico City: Quick Results | FIGHTLAND

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Photos by Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports? Ferguson Sees Off Dos Anjos Tony Ferguson extended his unbeaten run to nine with a victory over his toughest opponent to date, Rafael Dos Anjos. The contest read news >>

Despite coaching Raquel Pennington on 'TUF,' Miesha Tate sees a 'a little bit of mystery' at UFC 205

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

After coaching Pennington on the 18th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Miesha Tate thinks their bantamweight their UFC 205 fight might still hold some surprises: “You still don’t know what it’s like read news >>

Eddie Alvarez Has Conor McGregor in the Training Room | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 286 views

On Episode 2 of UFC 205 Embedded, Eddie Alvarez and Frankie Edgar get some motivation with Conor McGregor in the training room. read news >>

Frankie Edgar responds to Conor McGregor's criticism he wasn't good enough to headline UFC 205

  • 23 days ago
  • 91 views

NEW YORK – Conor McGregor recently said he would have been fighting Frankie Edgar in the UFC 205 headliner had Edgar not lost to Jose Aldo at UFC 200 earlier this year. “The Answer” heard those comme read news >>

One to Watch: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Michael Johnson | FIGHTLAND

  • 22 days ago
  • 8 views

Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC ?It's finally here. Saturday night sees the UFC hold its first ever event in New York City, at Madison Square Garden no less, and is celebrating in the most appropri read news >>

Jeremy Stephens ready to 'put the pain' on Frankie Edgar at UFC 205

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

NEW YORK – Jeremy Stephens isn’t the kind of guy who watches tape, thinks about the future or really spends any time on anything beyond getting in the cage and roughing up the man standing across the read news >>

UFC 205 video: How did this Jeremy Stephens kick not finish Frankie Edgar?

  • 20 days ago
  • 20 views

Frankie Edgar has been in the UFC octagon for more than six hours of fight time in his career and has never been finished. He showcased that trademark durability against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205.Fi read news >>

UFC 205 results: Frankie Edgar survives head kick to outduel Jeremy Stephens in thriller

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

NEW YORK – Frankie Edgar survived a head kick and near knockout at the hands of Jeremy Stephens, and still he won every round according to two of the three judges.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Frankie Edgar Takes the Fight from Jeremy Stephens (UFC 205 Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

Frankie Edgar put himself back in the thick of title talk, getting the better of Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205 on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. read news >>