Photo via Sherdog
I recently caught up with the UFC lightweight champion and in his Bloody Elbow interview Frankie Edgar talked about the rematch with Maynard at UFC 130 and his rollercoaster ride as UFC lightweight champion.
"Not much is new here man," Edgar began. "It's the same old same. It's just training and family time for me, man. That's about it. I'm pretty easy.
In Edgar's most recent appearance in the octagon he looked to avenge the only loss of his career against number one contender Gray Maynard at UFC 125. After suffering a brutal first round Edgar amazingly rebounded to not only take the next round but in the eyes of many fans and critics managed to take the victory in Las Vegas.
"It was a great fight," Edgar stated. "It was exciting for the fans and I learned a lot about myself by being able to come back strong. I feel that I did enough to take the victory but none of that matters now with the rematch ahead of us."
The champion's comeback at UFC 125 showed that there is no quit in Frank Edgar and while a fighter dedicates his life to becoming the best at what he does, there are intangible qualities that simply cannot be taught.
"You can prepare for anything you want in the gym but when you are in a fight and things come out that you that you weren't expecting...that's where the heart comes in," Edgar answered when asked about the comeback.
Following the draw with Maynard it was prematurely announced that Edgar would go on to face the final WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in a unification bout. UFC President Dana White stepped in and called for a third bout between Edgar and Maynard and it was a decision the champion agreed with.
"The end of the fight was a draw and there was no real decisive winner so I would like to just have a clear cut champ and some closure on the issue," Edgar described.
The recent changes made in Edgar's fighting style have paid dividends as he has added sharp boxing and constant movement to an already concrete wrestling base. The combination of speed and precision has allowed him to become a multiple level threat and has made the key to solving the Edgar puzzle something difficult to find.
"I think it's the focus on every area of my game," Edgar replied. "I'm just trying to improve on every aspect and it is the evolution of me finding the confidence in my skills and showcasing them better."
After defeating B.J. Penn in Abu Dhabi Edgar shot up to the top of the rankings to become the number one lightweight fighter in the world. While defeating Penn definitely provided the necessary credibility, Edgar wasn't the only fighter ready to make the same claim.
"It's going to come in with each victory and with each win I'm showing a progression," Edgar replied when asked about the top ranking. "It will come in the cage. The number one ranking isn't the most important thing to me. What matters to me is going in there and winning each fight and being the better fighter. That's all I really care about."
Since the beginning of Edgar's reign atop the lightweight division there has been a surge of fighters pushing for contention. Aside from Gray Maynard, fighters like Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard have used impressive performances to make the play for a shot at the crown and it is action of that variety that has made 155 lbs. one of the most competitive divisions under the UFC banner.
"The way this sport is now it's tough man," Edgar stated. "The sport is growing, the UFC acquired the WEC and there are so many different matchups in every weight class. There is no easy fight no matter where you fight if it's in the UFC. So the lightweight division being the most competitive is just based on someone's opinion."
While his position atop the weight class has been disputed and debated one thing for certain is that Edgar's profile as a professional fighter has risen quickly. From the ESPY nominated "Fight of the Year" against Penn to appearances in the locker room of the N.Y. Jets for a halftime motivational speech, the world is getting to see a proud champion that has no plans of slowing down any time soon.
"It's been amazing man," Edgar declared. "It's been like a rollercoaster ride and I'm trying not to get off. I'm trying to stay on for another go at it. I'm enjoying it as much as I can and you never know when this stuff is all going to go away so I'm taking it all in while I can."
With a date set for a third and final showdown with Gray Maynard, the champion has his sights set on deciding a clear cut champion. With the interview coming to a close Edgar took a moment to let fans know where they can find the latest news on "The Answer".
"My new website is up now so check that out at www.frankedgar.com. We will have a web store up and running very soon so tee shirts will be available along with some other things. Also check out my twitter @FrankieEdgar."
Before I could let the UFC lightweight champion off the hook I had to ask about another issue that has been lingering in my mind. Despite irrelevance to the current state of his division, the fan in me wanted to know if Edgar would ever consider a matchup against pound for pound phenom Jose Aldo. While the champion answered much to the tune I imagined he would, Edgar showed enough interest to leave the door of possibilities open.
"Right now with me already having the date set for my next fight I'm not even thinking about anything like that but it is an intriguing matchup and it would be great for the fans. We'll see...I'll never say no to anything but we'll see what happens down the road."