UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar Vs. BJ Penn 2: The Saga Continues

Cory NelsonContributor IApril 24, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 07:  UFC Fighter BJ Penn arrives at the 1st Annual Epiphone Revolver Golden Gods Awards at the Club Nokia on April 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

UFC 112 certainly cemented itself into the history of the UFC and MMA, and it had nothing to do with Anderson Silva’s soon to be forgotten and lackluster win over Demian Maia.

Sure, for Dana White and the UFC brass, Silva’s a big story. Remember, negative publicity is still publicity. But UFC 112 saw a much more important happening, in a should-be controversial 25 minute Lightweight Championship fight between now former champion BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar.

Not only did Edgar come away with the win, but he was able to completely throw Penn off of his game. 

Winning a fight against Penn, but not being able to finish it, really isn’t anything to look down upon. Penn is a legend in both the MMA and Jiu-Jitsu worlds. 

It had been six years since the last time BJ Penn was taken down to the mat against his will.

Late in the second round, Edgar proved BJ Penn to be human, with a take down that would ultimately result in nothing spectacular other than hurting Penn’s ego.

However, as the fifth and final round went on, it would happen again. This time Edgar was able to keep him there for a few seconds.

After 25 minutes of UFC fans asking their televisions, “What is going on with BJ Penn? Is he drunk?” and getting no response,  the judge’s cards finally read:

Doug Crosby: 50-45 Edgar

Sal D’Amato: 48-47 Edgar

Andy Roberts:  49-46 Edgar

A unanimous decision for Frankie Edgar, in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, to further enhance UFC fans disdain for the judging system.

I would have judged this fight 48-47 Edgar (good call Sal D’Amato!)

After what was a much closer fight than the judges card’s would read, it is nice to see the UFC do the right thing, by giving BJ Penn the first shot at the new champion, in an effort to reclaim his title and forget that this fight ever happened.

But win, lose or draw in this rematch, will this fight actually ever be forgotten?

Frankie Edgar may not be the most interesting fighter to watch. He doesn’t have a loud mouth. He isn’t abnormally quick, strong or abnormally built. He’s just a boxer/wrestler from New Jersey.

He’s just the new UFC Lightweight Champion.

In just two weeks after his win, Edgar should be insulted by the lack of acknowledgement over this feat. This isn’t Jim Miller we’re talking about here. Edgar’s accomplishments include wins over BJ Penn, Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin.

You don’t win fights like that, unless you’ve got substantial MMA skills.

Let’s break it down by each fighter’s losses, aside from their losses to Edgar:

Sean Sherk’s notable losses: BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes

BJ Penn’s notable losses:  Georges St. Pierre (2x), Matt Hughes

Tyson Griffin’s notable losses:  Sean Sherk

So is it safe to throw Edgar’s name in with the likes of St. Pierre, Penn, Sherk, and Hughes, as one of the best in the business?

Not quite.

As I previously stated, winning a fight over BJ Penn without being able to finish the fight isn’t anything to complain about, but when is Edgar going to start finishing fights?

You aren’t going to defend a UFC Championship for very long without being able to finish fights.

If Frankie Edgar wants to be remembered as one the UFC greats, and wants to successfully defend the title more than a few times, he needs to knock someone down to the mat, and leave them there.

The first meeting between Edgar and Penn was historical, but not entirely memorable.

If Edgar is able to defend the title against Penn, and finish him this time, he just might be able to have his name thrown around in the same conversations as Penn, Sherk, Hughes and St. Pierre.

If Penn comes away with the win, Edgar will be considered as just a mosquito that may have bitten Penn, but was ultimately squashed into nothing more than a bloody pulp.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens, when the two meet again at UFC 118.

As a side note: It was reported that Penn had been suffering from a sinus infection during their first fight at UFC 112. Whether this is true or not, I feel the same way about this as I felt about Tito Ortiz’ injuries during his fight with Forrest Griffin: If you feel that you’re not in good enough shape to fight, then don’t. A loss is a loss. Take it, and come back stronger next time.


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