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‘The timing was right’ - Frankie Edgar opens up on ‘bittersweet’ retirement fight at UFC 281

“I really enjoy doing what I do, but all good things must come to an end.”

Fans will be seeing the last of the great Frankie Edgar at UFC 281. After 17 long years as a professional, “The Answer” will step inside the Octagon one final time against Chris Gutierrez.

During a recent conversation with Jimmy Smith for Sirius XM, the former lightweight champion spoke about how he came up with the decision.

“It’s official, man. November 12 is my last fight. A little bittersweet, I really enjoy doing what I do, but all good things must come to an end.

“My thing was this: as long as I’m having fun, I’ll still do it. As long as I’m being competitive, I’ll still do it. And as long as my body lets me, I’ll still do it.

“I kind of feel like I’ve been checking those boxes every time out. My last fight was against Chito, and he’s one of the top guys, maybe fighting for a title in the near future. And I was right there in that fight.”

Edgar (24-10-1) suffered a brutal knockout loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 268 a year ago. And according to him, his body is beginning to bear the brunt of nearly two decades of professional fighting.

“I felt like that part of hanging with everybody is still there, but my body is… it’s a little tough. I had two surgeries last year. I do feel good right now, that’s kind of why I wanted to get this fight in. To get myself one last good camp and feel good and go out that way.

“Things start adding up after a while and I know that I can’t do this forever. I’m gonna be 41 in a couple of days here, and I just thought the timing was right.”

UFC 281 happens on November 12 at Madison Square Garden. It will feature two title fights: Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili at strawweight for the co-main event and Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira for the headliner.