Frankie Edgar will soon get his long-awaited title shot against UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway. The two have been matched up at UFC 218 and UFC 222 but injuries nixed their matchup on both occasions.
At UFC 240, however, the former lightweight champion Edgar is set to take on Holloway in the main event.
Edgar is ecstatic that he is finally getting the shot — especially after the recent talk of Alex Volkanovski getting the opportunity.
“I mean you never know what is going to happen,” Edgar told BJPENN.com. “We had heard we were going to get it, but you never know until you get the contract and sign on the dotted line. I was excited. Just excited and pumped to get after it and stay injury-free this time.”
Edgar has not fought since April of 2018, and he has seen Holloway fight twice since then, including a rare loss. At UFC 236, the Hawaiian lost to Dustin Poirier, but “The Answer” isn’t putting much stock into that defeat.
“I think the weight was a big difference and Poirier is a much different fight than myself as he is a southpaw,” he explained. “So, I just don’t take much from it, but little tidbits that my coach dissected and got from it. But, for the most part, it is a totally different fight.”
Even though he isn’t taking much from the fight, he is wondering what Max Holloway’s confidence will be like. The champion hasn’t lost since 2013, and how he rebounds from this recent setback remains to be seen.
“I don’t know. Everyone is different, everyone handles losses differently. He may be second-guessing himself, or he could be super motivated. I’m expecting to see a motivated guy,” Edgar said. “It was a loss but it was a fantastic fight and he put on a tremendous performance. He won a couple of those rounds, too. A few things go differently in that fight and he gets his hand raised.”
While it remains to be seen how Holloway performs, Frankie Edgar is focusing on fighting his fight and utilizing his game plan to dictate where the fight goes. He believes his wrestling will be particularly useful against the champion.
“We will see. He has fought some decent wrestlers in the past, but I think I will be the best wrestler he has fought,” Edgar said. “It is something that I always utilize in my fights and he is preparing for it a bunch. I know he is expecting me to look for those takedowns.”
Not only is Edgar’s wrestling important in this fight, but he says his cardio and jiu-jitsu are also key tools. He knows he has to push the pace against Holloway, and in turn, make him make mistakes. If he does that he knows he will have a good night and get his hand raised.
Frankie Edgar doesn’t believe the layoff will impact him
Something going against Edgar, though, is the fact that he has not fought since April of 2018. It has been over a year, which he admits is not ideal but there is nothing he can do about it now.
“I don’t think ring rust is real for me. I’m always in the gym. Like I was supposed to fight in December and was three weeks away from that one,” he said. “During my injury, I was in the gym doing what I could do. I would have liked to fight to make some money and test myself. But, things worked the way they did. If it is a year off but fighting for the title next, I’ll take it.”
Regardless, Edgar is adamant that he just focusing on himself, and not worried about anything he can’t control — which includes Holloway’s weight cut. He knows the Hawaiian cuts a lot of weight, and after fighting at lightweight, he understands why many fans worry he he could miss weight.
Edgar is hoping Holloway hits his mark so they can finally fight, and he can have his opportunity to shock the world by finishing the Hawaiian.
Although Max Holloway has not been finished since he lost to Dustin Poirier in his UFC debut back at UFC 143, in what was his fifth pro fight, Edgar believes he can finish the fight but knows it will be tough.
“I’m going to in there and try to finish him that is for sure. He is a durable guy so we will see. Whether it is a five-round fight or put him away. The main goal is a victory,” Edgar explained. “I have to make Max second guess himself, I have to make him feel that he needs some urgency. Just fight my fight. I mix it up better than most people in this sport and that is key to his victory.”
In the end, Frankie Edgar is extremely confident we’ll be hearing “And New” after the UFC 240 main event. How he does defeats the champion is still to be seen, but “The Answer” knows he can win this fight.
“Just me pushing the pace and making Max make mistakes and do some uncharacteristic things. Just fight to the best of my ability. I think if I fight to the best of my ability I walk away with the belt,” he concluded.
Who do you think will win the fight between Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/22/2019.