Frankie Edgar closed the book on his trilogy with B.J. Penn. In fact, he slammed it shut.
Edgar roughed up and then finished the former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder in “The Ultimate Fighter 19” Finale headliner on Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, stopping the Hawaiian with some ferocious third-round ground-and-pound. Penn met a bloody and unfortunate end 4:16 into round three before announcing his intention to walk away from the sport for good.
In a fight that was never competitive, Edgar peppered his rival with quick punching combinations on the feet. He was even more effective on the ground. Edgar struck for takedowns in all three rounds, slicing open “The Prodigy” with a third-round elbow strike moments before he finished him with unanswered punches.
In wake of “The Ultimate Fighter 19” Finale, here are six matchups that ought to be considered:
Frankie Edgar vs. Ricardo Lamas: Edgar reminded everyone that he remains a top-shelf featherweight and a serious threat to almost anyone at 145 pounds. He also made clear his desire for another crack at the featherweight championship currently held by Jose Aldo. However, Edgar figures to be at least a year away from another title shot, with the injured Brazilian awaiting his rematch against Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson also in line. Lamas was unspectacular but effective in earning a unanimous decision over Nova Uniao’s Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night “Swanson vs. Stephens” on June 28.
Dustin Ortiz vs. Zach Makovsky-Jussier da Silva winner: Ortiz survived a deep first-round armbar against Justin Scoggins, as he captured a split decision over the previously unbeaten American Top Team prospect. Spawned by the revered Roufusport camp in Milwaukee, Ortiz has quickly established himself as a person of interest at 125 pounds, and at just 25 years of age, he can only improve under the direction of four-time kickboxing world champion Duke Roufus. A former Bellator MMA and Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion, Makovsky will tackle da Silva at UFC 176 on Aug. 2.
Corey Anderson vs. Nikita Krylov-Cody Donovan winner: Anderson looked nothing like the wrestling-centric fighter who competed during Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The 24-year-old Rockhold, Ill., native overwhelmed Matt Van Buren with clean power punches on the feet before finishing the Alliance MMA product with ground strikes in the light heavyweight final. Anderson needed a little more than a minute -- 61 seconds, to be exact -- to do his work. Krylov will meet Donovan at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Brandao” on July 19 in Dublin.
Derrick Lewis vs. Matt Mitrione: The monstrous Lewis had no problems taking care of business against the undersized Carlos Augusto Filho, as he knocked the Blackzilians representative senseless with crushing ground-and-pound in the first round of their heavyweight encounter. The former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder countered a Filho leg kick with a takedown, moved into a dominant position behind an errant standing-to-ground right hand and then blasted the Brazilian kickboxer unconscious with a series of clubbing punches. Afterward, Lewis called for a matchup with Mitrione, who saw a scheduled bout with Stefan Struve scrapped at UFC 175 when the Dutchman was deemed medically unfit to compete.
Eddie Gordon vs. Tor Troeng-Trevor Smith winner: A former Ring of Combat champion, Gordon blitzed the talented but undersized Dhiego Lima in “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 middleweight final. Sweeping power punches put Lima on his heels against the cage before an overhand right left him dazed and unable to defend himself. Gordon piled on the punishment with lefts and rights, drove the Atlanta-based Brazilian to the mat and finished him there with a final burst of punches to the head. A graduate of “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” Troeng will face Trevor Smith when the UFC returns to Ireland on July 19.
Robert Drysdale vs. Patrick Cummins-Kyle Kingsbury winner: Drysdale did not disappoint in his long-awaited Octagon debut. The 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist finished Keith Berish with a rear-naked choke 2:03 into the first round of their light heavyweight clash, handing the onetime Ring of Combat titleholder his first professional defeat. Drysdale, 33, has submitted each of his first seven opponents inside one round. Cummins and Kingsbury will lock horns at UFC on Fox 12 on July 26.