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


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

  • 29 days ago
  • 24 views

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar put on a career-defining performance against savvy striker and No. 2 ranked featherweight contender Cub Swanson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 57 t read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Frankie Edgar's demolition of Cub Swanson on Saturday night may bring us back to the inevitable fork in the road. Edgar, based on beating Swanson, and he did far more than just beat him, should be th read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 21 views

And for what it's worth, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva took back his No. 7 spot from Ronda Rousey in the pound-for-pound rankings. The official Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Check out the latest official UFC rankings release. This week Edson Barboza and Frankie Edgar are on the rise. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

With a dominant win over Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 57, Frankie Edgar is back in the running for a shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Although Edgar has only made three appearances since l read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

Following his win this past weekend in UFC Fight Night 57, Frankie Edgar said he deserves the next shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Now, he’s pushing a proposed date, too.Filed under: News, read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

T.P. Grant talks about Frankie Edgar's big step forward and intersecting grappling styles at Metamoris. This is Episode 2 of Technique Review and the concept of the show is a sober look back at weeke read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC featherweight contender Frankie "The Answer" Edgar believes he's earned another crack at champion Jose Aldo after one of the best performances of his career, and he wasn't shy about letting his b read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

Never a shortage of topics, is there? It's the Wednesday after three mostly major events in the world of combat sports. Metamoris 5 took place on Saturday, with MMA stars Jake Shields and Rory MacDon read news >>