UFC Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has proved that he is better than B.J. Penn, twice. The New Jersey native tallied wins by unanimous decision in April and October over Penn, who most people considered to be the best lightweight fighter in the world and possibly ever. Now, Edgar (13-1, 2 KOs) is set to face the toughest challenge that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva can come up with. If he wants to keep the belt, Frankie will have to beat the only man who has ever defeated him in the Octagon: The Ultimate Fighter 5 veteran, Gray Maynard.
Maynard (10-0, 2 KOs, 1 NC) defeated Edgar on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Lauzon in April of 2008 by unanimous decision, mostly sticking with wrestling skills and takedowns to earn the victory. Recent losses by Penn, former champ Sean Sherk (to Edgar) and Kenny Florian, make Gray the clear choice for the next shot at the title. In his last fight, Maynard defeated KenFlo, also by unanimous decision, to become the number one contender, setting up the fight with Edgar which is expected to take place sometime in early 2011.
Edgar, who is also a former reality TV star on MTV’s True Life: I Want to be an MMA Fighter, he has also been criticized (most recently by Penn) for his strategy of planning to win fights by decision, rather than trying to knock-out or submit his opponents. The fact of the matter is that both fighters have 8 decision victories on their record and they both have an excellent wrestling pedigree, Maynard at Michigan St with teammate Rashad Evans, and Edgar at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
This must have UFC president Dana White scratching his head, wondering if their upcoming 5 round title fight will look more like a wrestling match than an MMA title fight. Check back with MMA Valor for details on when and where this fight will take place.