First and foremost, I must say, you’d be hard pressed to find a fighter as consistently entertaining as Frankie Edgar. Not now. Not in the UFC.
In most of his fights, Edgar gradually figures out how to defeat his opponents — but not before taking some damage of his own. His ability to adapt and embrace his own limitations has kept him standing in many unfavorable scenarios; often against unwavering foes.
Edgar was once again on form last Saturday. He tussled with Cub Swanson, an appropriate dance-partner. We knew this beforehand. Swanson has won two consecutive “Fight of the Night” bonuses, and most anticipated his third.
Expectedly, Swanson stood his ground early. He endured some wear and tear as the rounds wore on, but, after three, it did seem like the fight was destined to go to the judges’ scorecards.
In round four, Edgar came out full-throttle. The bustling Lightweight landed top control on the canvas for most of the round. Keeping with what has become his blazonry, Edgar threw punches in bunches — landing with intent.
Swanson hardly snuck through that one, and, most likely down 4 to nil, needed to score a stoppage in the last five minutes.
He couldn’t. Edgar continued the onslaught he had going in previous five. He feasted on his injured prey with the most perfect night cap — the latest submission in UFC history.
Swanson chose to tap at 4:56 of round 5 due to a strong neck crank. After the fight, he praised Edgar, and thanked him for “the lesson”.
If it is to be called a lesson, Edgar was a fine professor in the brutal realities of MMA. Swanson fell behind early, and, soon enough, fell apart physically due to Edgar’s grueling method of attack.
Where does he go from here?
Should Edgar become the UFC’s # 1 contender based on that victory alone? Post-fight, he was nearly certain that should be the case.
His win against a far over-the-hill BJ Penn doesn’t rub most the right way, and Brazil’s Charles Oliviera is a far-cry from championship caliber.
He might need another fight to earn a shot at the sport’s greatest prize. The winner of Conor McGregor-Denis Siver will sure like their chances, not to mention Ricardo Lamas is prepared for his second helping of Jose Aldo.
In the era of a multitalented mogul like Aldo, who already holds wins against the top three Featherweight contenders (including Edgar), there aren’t many interesting fights at the top. With that said, anytime we get to see Frankie Edgar fighting will be a feast for the eyes and heart.