Mixed martial artists come from every corner of the globe, bearing a variety of styles. Sometimes, fighters are products of their environment, favoring disciplines prevalent in the country or state from which they hail. Various regions of the United States are considered factories for great fighters, though that certainly is not the case with each state. In this weekly Sherdog.com series, the spotlight will shine on the best mixed martial artist of all-time from each of the 50 states. Fighters do not necessarily need to be born in a given state to represent it; they simply need to be associated with it.
Frankie Edgar stands out in a crowded field whenever talk turns to New Jersey and the mixed martial artists who call it home.
“The Answer” won 12 of his first 13 pro bouts, captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown by outpointing and perplexing the great B.J. Penn at UFC 112 in April 2010 and then replicated the feat more decisively in a rematch with the Hawaiian four months later. Edgar continued to establish himself as an elite fighter at UFC 125, where he retained the 155-pound title by battling Gray Maynard to a split draw in one of the greatest lightweight fights of all-time. The Toms River, New Jersey, native got the last laugh in his rivalry with Maynard in October 2011, when he knocked out “The Bully” in the fourth round of their battle at UFC 136. Edgar surrendered the lightweight championship in a close decision loss to Benson Henderson some five months later and then failed to regain it in their UFC 150 rematch.
Following the consecutive defeats to Henderson, Edgar downshifted to 145 pounds. He has gone 5-2 since, a pair of five-round decision losses to Jose Aldo in title fights the only blemishes. Edgar has won 10 post-fight award bonuses since arriving in the UFC in 2007: seven for “Fight of the Night,” two for “Performance of the Night” and one for “Knockout of the Night.” His outstanding resume includes three victories over Penn and other notable wins against Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Charles Oliveira and Sean Sherk.
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