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

Ronda Rousey to defend title at UFC 195 on Jan. 2 against Holly Holm

  • 14 days ago
  • 5 views

It won't be a trilogy fight with Miesha Tate after all. During a Friday appearance on Good Morning America, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey broke the news that she will be facing Holly Hol read news >>

Artem Levin vs Joe Schilling 3 to headline GLORY 24 in Denver

  • 15 days ago
  • 0 views

The long-awaited trilogy fight between GLORY Middleweight champion Artem Levin and Joe Schilling is finally a reality. The rubber match between the two rivals will headline GLORY 24 inside Magness Ar read news >>

Frankie Edgar ready to step in for Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 194

  • 17 days ago
  • 18 views

Frankie Edgar was ready to step in for Conor McGregor or Jose Aldo at UFC 189 and he's ready to intervene again at UFC 194. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was one of the UFC's standby men read news >>

Frankie Edgar training for a fight in December, vows to be ready step in for Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor at UFC 194

  • 17 days ago
  • 7 views

After Frankie Edgar was passed over in favor of Chad Mendes to be Jose Aldo's late replacement against Conor McGregor at UFC 189 for the interim Featherweight title, "The Answer" is once again throwi read news >>

Morning Report: Frankie Edgar hoping to fight in December, but ready to step in for Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor at UFC 1

  • 17 days ago
  • 21 views

Frankie Edgar isn't waiting around. The former UFC lightweight champion missed out on stepping in to face Conor McGregor at UFC 189, but he's not letting another opportunity slip by. Featherweight ch read news >>

Frankie Edgar on potential bantamweight drop: 'You never know how your body is going to react'

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

"The Answer" glosses over whether he will actually move down to the 135-pound division, instead preferring to stay "active." Whatever division former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight read news >>

One more time? Chael Sonnen hints at trilogy fight against Anderson Silva

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

The suspended "American Gangster" appears to want a third fight with "The Spider." Anderson Silva certainly didn't help himself and his brand after a bumbling hearing with Nevada Athletic Commission read news >>

For better or worse, Frankie Edgar says featherweight is still his division

  • 21 days ago
  • 28 views

Frankie Edgar’s decision to drop to the UFC featherweight division has paid off with rousing success, but he’s quick to warn fellow fighters that a weight-class change isn’t always a guarantee for a read news >>

Lawyer: Sex pills responsible for Anderson Silva's UFC 183 drug test results (PDF)

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

TMI! Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva will appear before Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on Thursday (Aug. 13, 2015) to answer for a couple read news >>

Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor Unification Bout Set for Dec. 12 in Las Vegas

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

Featherweight champion Jose Aldo will meet interim titleholder Conor McGregor in a unification bout on Dec. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>