Frankie Edgar wants a new opponent as badly as his fans do.
Edgar, the UFC lightweight champion, has competed four times in the last 18 months, but only against two opponents. He defeated B.J. Penn for the title, and then faced the Hawaiian in an immediate rematch. Following those bouts Edgar fought Gray Maynard two times consecutively due to their first title meeting ending in a draw.
Edgar found benefits in becoming common with his foes, but is welcoming newcomers.
“Having to fight somebody two times in a row definitely makes you reinvent yourself,” Edgar explained to the MMA Beatdown show on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “In that aspect it’s good to fight someone back-to-back. At the same time, it’s going to be nice to face someone different.”
At UFC 125 on New Year’s night, Edgar and Maynard had their first title affair. Maynard came out strong and had “The Answer” staggering and looking for a solution to “The Bully’s” onslaught. Edgar narrowly escaped Round 1, but bounced back strong to not let the belt slip away. The bout eventuated to a draw, therefore warranting and immediate rematch.
When the two lightweights met at UFC 136 this past Saturday in Houston, the bout initiated in the same fashion.
“When I was in the mix of it all I thought, ‘Man, it can’t be happening again,’ ” Edgar explained. “Once I went to the corner and asked if there was any adjustments I needed to make, I went to work. “
Edgar went to work, indeed.
Once again, the New Jersey native made a seemingly unreal comeback after Maynard’s battering and ended it with a fourth-round TKO of the TUF 5 participant. This put the questions about Edgar’s ability to finish his opponents to bed.
After a decisive victory such as Edgar’s at UFC 136, the fan base will inevitably grow, along with his confidence. Edgar is in a great position at the moment, but that does not mean the UFC lightweight champ is satisfied.
“I don’t think I’m the type of guy to ever get complacent just because of the way I motivate myself and my thought process,” Edgar explained. “I wouldn’t say I’m scared of anybody, but I definitely respect everybody. Whenever hear a new guy I’m going to fight, I put them on a pedestal. Because when I put them on a pedestal I know I have to train hard to beat them.”