Last night we witnessed former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar utterly dismantle and destroy top featherweight challenger Cub Swanson over the course of a five-round fight. It was an impressive feat, made more so because despite his past championship accomplishments, Edgar was considered by many to be just a short detour on Swanson’s inevitable trip to the top.
Boy, you Edgar doubters… y’all are a bunch of idiots.
Without question, Edgar will one day find himself inducted into the ranks of the UFC’s Hall of Fame. And the dude deserves that berth with every fast-twitch fiber of his being.
What transpired at UFC Fight Night 57 is just one example in a long line of examples of the New Jersey native being near flawless in the face of elite competition, a trend that we first witnessed on the national stage when he took a fight that no one else wanted against a then-feared Tyson Griffin at UFC 67 (note: those of us who watched him come up in the regional circuit saw those flawless performances much earlier). But it wasn’t until Edgar took on the legendary BJ Penn – and beat the ever-loving crap out of him at UFC 112 and then UFC 118 – that the full measure of his greatness would be grasped.
Here was a fighter who was unassuming, who talked little to no trash, yet whose skills and ability when fists were flying spoke volumes. Edgar could kick ass.
But it took a trilogy with Gray Maynard to prove how entertaining he could be. Edgar took a serious beating in those fights, and in the last two meetings came back from those beatings stronger as the rounds wore on, until he finally managed to put Maynard away once and for all.
“The Answer” suffered a string of defeats after that – narrow decisions to Benson Henderson and a more clear-cut decision to 145-pound king Jose Aldo – and yet he’s back on track now, having dominated Charles Oliveira, retired Penn, and ended Swanson’s potential run at the belt. Sure, we probably won’t see Edgar anywhere near the cage while the mouthy Conor McGregor is in it, lest the UFC lose a potentially huge moneymaker in McGregor vs. Aldo. But that’s fine. Because the jury is still out on whether McGregor and Aldo will ever be considered one of the sport’s greatest.
That’s certainly not the case with Edgar. He’s proven to be one of the best and most entertaining the Octagon has ever seen. He’s got that Hall of Fame spot all sewn up.