Frankie Edgar had high praise for Max Holloway at UFC 240’s media day, saying the Hawaiian was knocking on the door of being the best featherweight of all time.
Edmonton, AB — For Frankie Edgar, perhaps the third time at featherweight is the charm. ‘The Answer’ has fought for featherweight gold twice before, both times against Jose Aldo. Both those fights — in 2013, in his first fight at 145lbs, and again in 2016 at UFC 200, for an interim title — saw Edgar lose a decision to the Brazilian. Now, another three years later, it’s Max Holloway holding gold.
And once again, there is Frankie Edgar, again in a title fight at 145lbs. Edgar’s now 37 years old, and the lighter weight classes are rarely kind to athletes pushing 40. There’s a very good chance that this is Edgar’s last run, even if he guts it out in the sport for a few more years.
Speaking to Cageside Press at the UFC 240 media day on Thursday, Edgar (23–6–1) described the feeling of a title shot at this point in his career as “awesome. It just means all the hard work that I’ve put in through these years hasn’t been wasted. It just shows I’ve been pretty consistent throughout my career.”
Consistent is an understatement. Edgar never fails to entertain. He’s been with the UFC over a decade, dating back to 2007. Reigned at lightweight.
He knows the ins and outs of the game. Which is why he’s not concerned about whether Holloway’s lightweight loss at UFC 236 might give him Edgar himself an edge. Holloway’s still on an impressive streak at featherweight, after all.
“I just see him as a champion,” Edgar told us. “He’s the champion of the 145lb division, he’s been running through everybody in this division. I think he’s knocking on the door to being the best 45lb’er ever.”
Best-ever status is hotly debated, of course. For ages, it was Jose Aldo. The Blessed era has put a wrench in that. Frankie Edgar would no doubt like to enter the conversation. To do so, to defeat Holloway, “I just gotta be myself. I got to make sure I show up and fight a flawless fight Saturday.”
The knock on Edgar of late has been consistency in getting to the cage. He last competed at UFC Atlantic City in April 2018. But after so many fights, it’s hard to imagine ring rust being an issue. “I don’t really worry about that. I’m in the gym pretty often. I was injured for a little bit, but even while I was injured, I was doing things to improve, to get better,” said Edgar on Thursday. “I was getting ready for a fight, I was pretty close to that fight, so ring rust don’t apply to me.”
For a while, however, it felt like the fight against Holloway would never happen. It was booked twice before, after all. Edgar was forced out of UFC 218. Then Holloway pulled out of UFC 222. “Sometimes,” Edgar admitted when asked about the feeling of it never going down. “You never know. We got the fight booked, and I was nervous throughout my training camp, I was nervous for Max throughout his training camp, but here we are two days away.”
At the same time, like everyone else, Edgar felt the pairing was inevitable. “Max is a tremendous champion, I’ve had a pretty storied career, think we were bound to cross paths eventually.”
One twist: UFC 240 will be just the fourth time Edgar has fought outside the U.S. It’s not really by design. “Just circumstance pretty much,” Edgar explained. “I fought in the Philippines, Abu Dhabi, and Japan. So this is the fourth time. It’s cool. It’s cool to fight in a different market. Canada’s our neighbor next door, so it doesn’t really feel like I’m too far from home anyway.”
Frankie Edgar returns at UFC 240 this Saturday, July 27 against Max Holloway in the main event. The card airs live on PPV.