One of the most notable highlight-reel finishes for 2021 happened on Saturday at UFC Vegas 18. Cory Sandhagen landed a perfectly-timed flying knee on Frankie Edgar’s jaw to end the fight inside 28 seconds.
In his post-fight statement early this week, Edgar mentioned not remembering what happened during the fight. That’s usually something you’d hear from fighters who get knocked out, but for “The Answer,” it was a bit more extreme.
Edgar spoke in detail about the extent of his post-KO blackout in a Thursday sitdown with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“I didn’t really come through until I was in the back,” he recalled. “That’s the first thing I remember, sitting around the doctors, going through that whole process with them. Mark (Henry), Ricardo (Almeida) next to me. I’m like, ‘Mark, what happened?’ He’s like, ‘You fought.’ And I kind of figured that, and I’m like, ‘But I just couldn’t remember who the f—k I fought.’ I’m like, ‘Who did I fight?’ And he said, ‘Sandhagen.’
“And I’m trying to remember training for the guy, and I just could not remember training for him. I’m like, ‘Since when was I supposed to fight him?’ I thought maybe I just took this fight on short notice or something. He’s like, ‘Bro, two months. You’ve been training for two months.’
“I just couldn’t wrap (my head around it). The doctor asked me what day it was. And for the life of me, I could not remember, I’m like, ‘September? December?’ And that’s when they said I would need to get a CAT scan, go to the hospital.”
Fortunately, Edgar came back to his senses during the ambulance ride en route to the hospital.
“On the way to the hospital, the nurse in the ambulance said, ‘What day of February is it?’ I’m like, ‘Boom, the 6th,’” he said. “And right away, that’s when things started snowballing, I started remembering. Then I remembered the warm-up, I remembered even the first 20 seconds before getting hit with the knee.
“So everything came back to me. But I don’t remember walking out of the cage.”
What’s admirable about Edgar throughout this whole thing is his positive outlook. He is fully aware of what a loss in such a fashion can do for a fighter, yet he chooses to look at the bright side.
“This is an unforgiving sport. It sucks. I’m gonna be on this guy’s highlight reel forever,” said the 39-year-old former champion. “That’s just gonna play forever.
“But it is what it is. It easily could’ve been him on the other end, and I’ve been on the other end of those, as well.”
The loss to Sandhagen marks the third stoppage defeat for Edgar in his 16-year professional career.