Frankie Edgar leaves MMA in a much better place than he found it

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NEW YORK — You’ll learn everything you need to know about the type of fighter and competitor Frankie Edgar has been over a 17-year career in MMA by watching the opponents he’s faced in his seven fights. the most recent. By the time he faced Brian Ortega in a featherweight bout at UFC 222 on March 3, 2018, it was pretty obvious that Edgar’s time as an elite contender was over.

He was 37 when he met Ortega, still fighting much bigger guys, and he was no longer the dangerous fighter he had been in his prime as UFC lightweight champion when he regularly beat up much bigger guys.

He would go on to fight Cub Swanson, Max Holloway, Chan Sung Jung, Pedro Munhoz, Cory Sandhagen and Marlon “Chito” Vera. They are all dangerous elite fighters, in their prime, at a time when Edgar was at the end of his career.

But he never said no to a fight, never came in less than spectacular shape, and never stopped believing he could beat the best guys in the world.

He’s 41 now and is 2-5 in his last seven fights heading into his final Saturday at New York’s Madison Square Garden when he faces Chris Gutierrez at UFC 281. He’s 9-9 in his last 18 fights after a 15-1-1 start to his career.

Saturday’s fight will be his retirement fight, he said on media day.

Edgar, however, will be remembered as one of the greatest fighters in the promotion’s history, a guy who took everything he had on any given night and made the most of it. He won the UFC title in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2010 at a time when he should have been fighting at bantamweight. He weighed 155 and fought at 155, while most of his competitors weighed 155 and rehydrated to 170 pounds or more on fight night.

What he lacked in physical size, he more than made up for in heart, determination and grit. He took on more than his share of the best of his day, always eager to challenge himself, always ready to put on a show.

Dustin Poirier, who fights Michael Chandler on the main card Saturday, made his UFC 125 debut on Jan. 1, 2011. In the main event that night, Edgar defended his title for the second time against Gray Maynard. It remains one of the best fights in UFC history and perhaps the greatest example of resilience in any UFC fight. Maynard knocked Edgar down three times in the first, and the fight was about to be stopped.

Edgar refused to allow him to be arrested, fighting back valiantly. He got a draw and retained his title. And he would then beat Maynard in his next fight to prove a point.

He started his career 17 years ago in the Bronx in a no-rules match when MMA was still illegal in the state. He wraps it up in the world’s most famous arena on one of the biggest cards of the year.

He’s had his ups and downs in his career, but Edgar was the epitome of a professional from start to finish and helped bring the UFC into the modern era and allowed it to achieve mainstream status.

The sport will be forever grateful to him, and a place in the Hall of Fame will soon await him.

Molly McCann has reached out to former UFC champ Conor McGregor for help dealing with fame. (Photo by Kieran Riley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Meatball Molly” reaches out to Conor McGregor

Molly McCann hails from Liverpool, England and has struggled to learn how to handle the fame that comes with not only a three-fight UFC winning streak but also securing the last two by knockout finishes. incredible in London. After the second of those spectacular finishes, a spinning elbow KO from Hannah Goldy, McCann’s profile was significantly raised.

And she had a hard time dealing with fame. She will get more if she beats Erin Blanchfield on Saturday at UFC 281.

“‘It was absolutely disgusting, to be honest,” she said on media day of her newfound fame. “After the fight, I’ll enjoy a beer, I’ll enjoy doing the media with everyone. And then when you come home, it kicks you in the face because you’re not normal anymore. I can’t just walk past Frank and Patty down the street. I can’t just go to football. So what I had to do was mourn a private life because my life is no longer private.

“It’s something that not everyone would have to deal with, I don’t think. When you start fighting, I think you just start winning a belt. We don’t start for glory, we let’s not really start for the money it’s about the prestige and honor of winning that belt I’m very lucky I guess people want to know [about my life] and I’m so approachable. But sometimes it weighs heavily.”

To deal with it, she reached out to former UFC champion Conor McGregor, the sport’s biggest star who’s been living in a fishbowl for nearly a decade now. McCann sent him a direct message on social media and McGregor responded with some wise words.

“I messaged him, ‘How are you handling this? Because you can explode, then you can explode,’” she said. “I couldn’t understand how people are with you sometimes.

“And so it was. “When you walk into the gym, it’s just the gym. Don’t let anyone else in. Keep everyone out. than a fight. You’re a cage warrior. That’s what we are, we’re Cage Warriors champions.”

She’s had McGregor’s words printed and looks at them every time she feels the walls closing in. She wants to welcome all her fans, but said when it’s too much, McGregor has helped her understand that the main thing is just to focus on winning and on fighting. .

Israel Adesanya poses during a weigh-in Friday, July 1, 2022, in Las Vegas.  Adesanya is set to fight Jared Cannonier in a mixed martial arts bout for the middleweight title on Saturday at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Locher)

Israel Adesanya is favored to defeat Alex Pereira despite two kickboxing losses to him. (AP Photo/John Locher)

‘Izzy’ a big favorite despite defeats against Pereira

Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title in the main event on Saturday against longtime rival Alex Pereira. Pereira beat Adesanya in two kickboxing matches, one by decision and the second, in 2017, by brutal one-punch knockout.

Still, at BetMGM New York, Adesanya is better than a 2-to-1 favorite. Adesanya is -210 to win, with Pereira at +170. Amazingly, the odds of each of them winning by knockout are about the same, despite Pereira being one of the biggest punchers in UFC history. Adesanya by KO is +300, but Pereira by KO is +275.

Yes is a favorite on the prop who asks if combat makes a difference. Yes is -120 and no is -110.

My UFC 281 bets

All odds via BetMGM.

  • Adesanya -210 to defeat Pereira.

  • Adesanya-Pereira -120 to complete five laps.

  • Puelles +250 per submission on Hooker.

  • Blanchfield -115 via decision over McCann.

  • Andre Petroski +225 to win by KO over Wellington Turman.

UFC 281 main card, odds (start time 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

  • Middleweight: Champion Israel Adesanya -210 vs. Alex Pereira +170

  • Strawweight: Champion Carla Esparza +300 vs. Zhang Weili -400

  • Lightweight: Dustin Poirier -225 vs. Michael Chandler +185.

  • Bantamweight: Frankie Edgar +185 vs. Chris Gutierrez -225.

  • Lightweight: Dan Hooker -160 against Claudio Puelles +130

UFC 281 preliminary card, odds (start time 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

  • Lightweight: Brad Riddell EVEN vs. Renato Moicano -120

  • Catchweight (206.6 lbs): Dominick Reyes -225 vs. Ryan Spann +180

  • Flyweight: Molly McCann +300 vs. Erin Blanchfield -400

  • Middleweight: Andre Petroski -200 vs. Wellington Turman +165

UFC 281 early preliminary card, odds (start time 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

  • Lightweight: Matt Frevola +130 vs. Ottman Azaitar -155

  • Strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz -110 vs Silvana Gómez Juárez -110

  • Catchweight (147.6 lbs): Michael Trizano +145 vs. Choi Seung-woo -175

  • Bantamweight: Julio Arce +170 vs. Montel Jackson -210

  • Light heavyweight: Carlos Ulberg -130 vs Nicolae Negumereanu +110


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