Not many are giving Frankie Edgar much of a chance against lightweight champion BJ Penn at “UFC 112: Invincible,” but Penn is fully aware that Edgar poses a real threat to his title.
“Edgar’s a very good opponent, he’s got a lot of big wins and he gets after it,” Penn said about his challenger. “He’s got good hands and great wrestling, so I have to be ready for him otherwise I’ll be in trouble.”
Edgar will be a 4.5-to-1 underdog when he enters the Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi, so the Betting Gods aren’t giving the wrestler much more than a puncher’s chance against the Hawaiian.
Edgar showed drastic improvement with his boxing in his wins over Sean Sherk and Matt Veach, however his ability to fight against bigger opponents was what stood out the most. The Jersey boy was overwhelmed by Gray Maynard’s size in a lopsided unanimous decision loss in April 2008, the only blemish on his 11-1 resume.
Penn owns a dominant 15-5-1 record and will go down as the lightweight division’s G.O.A.T. when it’s all said and done. In his last outing at UFC 107, he earned a 5thRound TKO victory when he sliced Diego Sanchez’s forehead open with his shin.
His only 155-pound blemish came when he dropped a majority decision to Jens Pulver at UFC 35 back in January of 2002.
Edgar can pick his poison on Saturday. Although his hands are much improved, they aren’t nearly as lethal as the champ’s. At the same time, his wrestling may be superior, but there wouldn’t be much of an advantage on the canvas against the Brazilian jiu jitsu wizard – even in top position.
That’s assuming he Edgar can actually take Penn down and keep him there, of course.
Don’t forget UFC 112 kicks off early this Saturday, with the live pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 1PM ET/10AM PT. However, a same-day replay will also be made available during the UFC’s customary 10PM ET/7PM PT time slot.
Make sure to check back Friday for our preview of the main event between Demian Maia and middleweight king Anderson Silva.