Edgar (16-4-1) and Penn (16-9-2) served as opposing coaches on the 19th season of TUF, which will debut on April 16 on Fox Sports 1. Edgar recently appeared as a guest on MMAJunkie radio and said that despite the fact that he has two previous wins over Penn, the UFC did not have to do any arm-wringing to get him to agree to coach TUF or to fight Penn a third time, "I'm a yes man," said Edgar. "My bosses ask me to do something, (and) I'm pretty much game. A fight's a fight. B.J. is still a legend - still a stud. It's not going to be an easy fight."
The two previous bouts both went the five round distance, with Edgar earning unanimous decisions in both of those contests. The first fight, the co-main event of UFC 112, saw Edgar capture Penn's UFC lightweight title with scores of 50-45, 48-47 and 49-46.
Penn was given an immediate rematch after that loss. The second bout headlined UFC 118. In that fight, Edgar kept his title with the judges scoring it 50-45 across the board.
Before this fight was booked, Penn made it clear that he wanted a third go round with Edgar. When asked about Penn's desire for another fight, Edgar said, "He's a competitor. I think that people that are competitive always have a reason that they lost, and always think that they can win. I get it, but I'm a competitor too, and I'm ready to close the door on this trilogy and make it 3-0."
Edgar has been in the same place Penn is in heading into their fight. Edgar lost his title to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 via unanimous decision. He then dropped a split decision to Henderson in the rematch. Edgar said of those losses, and the possibility of a trilogy with Henderson, "I'm not a guy that really dwells on that stuff. I've been on the losing end with Henderson. Would I like another shot at him? Yeah, if it happens, but I'm not a guy that lobbies for that stuff."
That statement led to the inevitable question of what would Edgar do if he lost to Penn in July. Edgar said that if that happens he would probably deal with it in the same way that he dealt with the losses to Henderson, by moving on. He then added, "I just don't think that's happening."
Unlike the first two fights, the upcoming bout will not be contested at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds. Instead, the fight will be contested at the featherweight limit of145 pounds. Edgar has two fights in that weight division under his belt. He lost the first of those to featherweight champion Jose Aldo, but bounced back in his next contest to defeat Charles Oliveira. Penn has never fought at 145 pounds.
Edgar said he thinks Penn will be able to make the weight, but he added that Penn should not expect to see the same fighter he saw back in 2010. Edgar said of the differences Penn will see, "I'm a much better fighter. I'm more confident. I'm older. It's kind of funny, I may be down a weight class, but I'm bigger and stronger than I was at 155."