Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will make his final walk to the octagon at UFC 281 next month.
Edgar (24-10-1) is expected to face Chris Gutierrez (18-4-2) in a bantamweight contest at the PPV event in New York City, in what will be the ex-champ’s retirement fight. Edgar confirmed the news to UFC broadcast partner ESPN on Thursday.
Now 40, Frankie Edgar joined the UFC in 2007, making his debut at UFC 67 with a win over Tyson Griffin. He’s been with the company ever since. Starting his career at 9-0, he would lose only to Gray Maynard before capturing 155lb gold as a vastly undersized fighter in the weight class, defeating B.J. Penn to claim the belt. He would defend the title on three occasions, in a rematch with Penn, and then in a pair of fights with Maynard.
After losing back-to-back fights with Benson Henderson — with many seeing Edgar as having won at least the second fight — “The Answer” dropped the featherweight, coming up short against Jose Aldo in a title shot there. At UFC 200, he would lose to Aldo again in an interim title fight; at UFC 240 in 2019, he would fall short against Max Holloway in another shot at gold.
A move to 135lbs followed, but after beating Pedro Munhoz in his bantamweight debut, Edgar has lost fights to Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera, both by extraordinarily violent knockouts.
Chris Gutierrez has won three straight fights in the UFC’s bantamweight division, and has not suffered a loss in the octagon since losing his promotional debut. Most recently, Gutierrez picked up a TKO win over Danaa Batgerel.
UFC 281 is set to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York on November 12, 2022. The card is headlined by a middleweight title fight that sees champ Israel Adesanya set to defend his title against kickboxing rival Alex Pereira. The following bouts have been reported for the event:
- Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Alex Pereira – for the UFC middleweight championship
- Carla Esparza (c) vs. Zhang Weili – for the UFC women’s strawweight championship
- Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
- Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano
- Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles
- Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
- Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Silvana Gómez Juárez
- Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann
- Michael Trizano vs. Choi Seung-woo
- Andre Petroski vs. Wellington Turman
- Carlos Ulberg vs. Nicolae Negumereanu
- Julio Arce vs. Montel Jackson
- Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutiérrez