When it’s all said and done, Frankie Edgar knows exactly what he wants fans to remember when they look back on his fighting career.
“The Answer” is preparing to close the door on an MMA career that began in 2005 when he enters Madison Square Garden to face Chris Gutierrez tonight at UFC 281.
The 41-year-old joined the UFC in 2007 and captured the promotion’s lightweight title in 2010. A move to featherweight in 2013 saw him challenge for that title on two occasions before moving to bantamweight for his last few fights.
While there’s understandably been a lot of talk around the two title fights headlining UFC 281, a lot of the media’s attention leading up to the event has focused on the longtime fan favorite as he prepares to leave the sport.
“The Answer” has been asked everything from whether or not he’ll stay retired to what he’ll do after fighting, but one interesting topic that came up at the event’s media day was how the former UFC champion wants people to talk about him long after his retirement.
“I Put My Heart And Soul Into This”
Many fans might point to Frankie Edgar’s reign as the UFC lightweight champion or his rivalries with BJ Penn and Gray Maynard as what they remember most from his career, but “The Answer” wants to be remembered for something much simpler than the results on his record.
“I put my heart and soul into this,” Edgar said. “Like when you watch me fight, someone watches me fight, they’re gonna say, ‘Wow, that dude fought with 100% heart,’ you know? I was a big Rocky guy growing up, and it was ’cause of his heart. I was a big Evander Holyfield guy ’cause of his heart. That’s how I fight. It’s not like I think in the back ‘Oh, I’m gonna put a lot of heart into this.’ It’s just who I am.”
Edgar has competed at bantamweight since 2020, but a successful divisional debut against Pedro Munhoz was followed by consecutive knockouts losses to Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera in his most recent fights.
The fact that those losses to Sandhagen and Vera were the first back-to-back stoppage losses of his career speaks to the incredible toughness Edgar has displayed in his fights, and no doubt “The Answer” will put that same kind of heart into his final bout with Gutierrez.
Following Edgar’s retirement fight, the UFC 281 main card also includes a matchup between top lightweights Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. The co-main event will see Carla Esparza attempt to defend her strawweight title against former champion Weili Zhang before Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira throw down for Adesanya’s middleweight belt in the main event.
What will you remember the most about Edgar when looking back on his MMA career?