Saturday, August 15, 2020

Frankie Edgar: I’ll Be Best Wrestler Max Holloway’s Ever Fought

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar could be facing his last shot at UFC gold.

‘The Answer’ will meet Max Holloway in the main event of this weekend’s (Sat., July 27, 2019) UFC 240 from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. When he does, it will be his third shot at a UFC featherweight title (including interim belts). He’s come up just short in those three fights. The odds would suggest the deck is stacked against Edgar. Indeed, he’s tasked with facing arguably the best MMA featherweight of all-time in the Hawaiian ‘Blessed.’

However, there are some signs, albeit slight, that Holloway is not the unbeatable wrecking machine many pegged him as after his bludgeoning win over Brian Ortega late last year. Indeed, Holloway suffered his first loss since August 2013 – a span of 14 fights – when he took on Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight belt at April’s UFC 236. True, that was up a weight class, but Edgar has ruled the 155-pound roost himself. Speaking to BJPENN.com recently, ‘The Answer’ gave his thoughts on Holloway’s recent defeat:

“I think the weight was a big difference and Poirier is a much different fight than myself as he is a southpaw. So, I just don’t take much from it, but little tidbits that my coach dissected and got from it. But, for the most part, it is a totally different fight.”

Holloway Rebounding From Defeat

Asked about how Holloway will respond to the loss, Edgar thinks it could go either way. He believes Holloway will come in motivated. ‘Blessed’ may have lost to Poirier, but Edgar noted it was a close fight:

“Everyone is different, everyone handles losses differently. He may be second-guessing himself, or he could be super motivated. I’m expecting to see a motivated guy,” Edgar said. “It was a loss but it was a fantastic fight and he put on a tremendous performance. He won a couple of those rounds, too. A few things go differently in that fight and he gets his hand raised.”

The Best Wrestler ‘Blessed’ Has Faced?

As for what he plans to do against the taller, lankier Holloway, most are expecting Edgar to use his vaunted takedown game. Edgar didn’t seem to shy away from that notion. He believes he’ll be the best wrestler the champ has ever fought, yet also knows Holloway will be preparing for it:

“We will see. He has fought some decent wrestlers in the past, but I think I will be the best wrestler he has fought,” Edgar said. “It is something that I always utilize in my fights and he is preparing for it a bunch. I know he is expecting me to look for those takedowns.”

Ring Rust Not Real

Holloway vs. Edgar has proved to be an extremely difficult fight to see transpire. This weekend will be the third time it’s been booked. The prior two schedulings fell apart due to injuries from both sides. Overall, ‘The Answer’ has been out of action since April 2018, and questions of ring rust are inevitably awaiting him this week. He claims he doesn’t believe in that aspect of fighting and was still in the gym while injured:

“I don’t think ring rust is real for me. I’m always in the gym. Like I was supposed to fight in December and was three weeks away from that one,” he said. “During my injury, I was in the gym doing what I could do. I would have liked to fight to make some money and test myself. But, things worked the way they did. If it is a year off but fighting for the title next, I’ll take it.”

Going For The Finish

Edgar is planning to go into UFC 240 and finish the champ. But if that opportunity doesn’t present itself, he’s obviously focusing on emerging victoriously. He’s trying to get Holloway out of his comfort zone, and said mixing it up in the Octagon will be key to that strategy:

“I’m going to in there and try to finish him that is for sure. He is a durable guy so we will see. Whether it is a five-round fight or put him away. The main goal is a victory. I have to make Max second guess himself, I have to make him feel that he needs some urgency. Just fight my fight. I mix it up better than most people in this sport and that is key to this victory.”

Edgar closed on his gameplan to make Holloway rethink his strategy. He believes his best effort will ensure he secures his long-coveted UFC featherweight championship:

“Just me pushing the pace and making Max make mistakes and do some uncharacteristic things. Just fight to the best of my ability. I think if I fight to the best of my ability I walk away with the belt.”

The stakes will be more than just high in Edmonton this weekend. Holloway will look to rebound from his first defeat in almost six years. But Edgar has more on the line, as a failed effort to win will almost certainly mean his days of fighting for UFC gold are over.

Will Edgar’s gameplan finally lead to featherweight gold this Saturday?

Trending Articles

Video: UFC Boss Dana White Reacts To Horrifying Arm Break During Fight

UFC president Dana White had a priceless reaction to a nasty arm dislocation. On the 28th edition of Dana...

UFC 252 Weigh-in Results: Main Event Official, Two Fighters Miss

UPDATE: The UFC 252 weigh-ins are done and the main event title fight is official. Herbert Burns missed weight by 3.5 pounds....

UFC 252 Predictions: Miocic vs. Cormier

UFC 252 is upon us. The event will be held inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow...

Marlon Vera Responds To Sean O’Malley Dyeing Hair In Colors Of Ecuadorian Flag

Marlon Vera says he is unfazed by Sean O'Malley's mind games. Vera is scheduled to share the Octagon with...

Here’s What Khabib Wants Conor McGregor To Do For UFC Rematch

Khabib Nurmagomedov has laid out a simple route for Conor McGregor to fight him again. Back in Oct. 2018,...

Latest MMA News

UFC 252 Results: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier

UFC 252 goes down tonight (Sat. August 15, 2020) from Las Vegas, Nevada at the UFC APEX and we have the results....

Check Out Last-Minute Betting Odds For UFC 252

The final UFC 252 betting odds are in for as this event is quickly approaching for the Las Vegas-based promotion. 

Michael Chandler Excited At Thought Of Fighting Justin Gaethje

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler likes the idea of a showdown with Justin Gaethje. Chandler fought out of...

Here’s What Khabib Wants Conor McGregor To Do For UFC Rematch

Khabib Nurmagomedov has laid out a simple route for Conor McGregor to fight him again. Back in Oct. 2018,...

Daniel Cormier Says Retiring As UFC Champion Puts Him Alongside Michael Jordan & Peyton Manning

Daniel Cormier knows the significance of walking out on top. Cormier plans to retire from MMA competition after his...

Dana White Theorizes Why Conor McGregor Is Still On UFC Rankings

UFC president Dana White has a theory as to why Conor McGregor remains on the UFC rankings. McGregor has...

Video: UFC 252 Fighter Staredowns Including Stipe Miocic & Daniel Cormier

The pre-fight UFC 252 staredowns are in the books. Earlier today (Aug. 14), the UFC held weigh-ins for its next...

UFC 252 Predictions: Miocic vs. Cormier

UFC 252 is upon us. The event will be held inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow...

Dana White Isn’t Buying UFC 252 Being Daniel Cormier’s Last Fight

UFC president Dana White isn't convinced that Daniel Cormier's final bout will be on Aug. 15. Cormier is set...

UFC 252 Weigh-in Results: Main Event Official, Two Fighters Miss

UPDATE: The UFC 252 weigh-ins are done and the main event title fight is official. Herbert Burns missed weight by 3.5 pounds....

Flyweight Prospect Valerie Loureda Signs New Bellator Contract

Valerie Loureda is sticking with Bellator. Bellator sent out a press release revealing that Loureda has signed a new...

Dana White Says Travel Issues Are Keeping Khamzat Chimaev From Fighting Sooner

UFC president Dana White wanted another quick turnaround for Khamzat Chimaev but it hasn't been as easy as he hoped.