Frankie Edgar file photo : Sherdog.com
Count UFC President Dana White among those impressed with Frankie Edgar’s victory Saturday over B.J. Penn in the main event of UFC 118.
“He absolutely dominated B.J. Penn everywhere in the Octagon tonight,” White said at the postfight news conference. “On his feet, on the ground, wrestling. The first couple of times [Edgar] took him down, I couldn’t believe it. Not only did he take him down, he took him down hard. He put on an incredibly dominant performance tonight against a guy who’s been the best in the world for a long time.”
Edgar outwrestled and outstruck Penn en route to a unanimous decision (50-45 on all three cards). The win was more decisive than their April encounter in Abu Dhabi, which also went to Edgar via unanimous decision.
“I just felt I put more pressure on, was able to finish some takedowns and stay on top for longer periods of time and I felt I was able to step in on my strikes more,” Edgar said of his showing Saturday in Boston.
Edgar did find himself on his back at times. He acknowledged a sense of urgency with a world-class grappler like Penn on top, but he credited his corner and his composure for getting him back to the feet unharmed. Standing, Edgar resumed a varied attack that Penn never figured out.
“I felt him fading a little bit, but B.J.’s still really dangerous, faded or not,” Edgar said. “I just kept pushing the pace. I felt I was backing him up, especially in that last round.”
Asked whether it was important for this win to clear up the controversy of the first bout, Edgar deflected the inquiry back at the media.
“I think it was more important for you guys than it is for me,” he said.
Next up for Edgar is a rematch with Gray Maynard. Maynard outpointed him in April 2008 and also earned a unanimous decision over Kenny Florian on Saturday to step into a title shot.
“He has a win over me, so he deserves a shot,” Edgar said. “Obviously I’d like a chance to possibly avenge that loss.”
Although an Edgar-Maynard rematch doesn’t seem like a headliner that will break pay-per-view records, it’s a fight White says he can sell after their performances at UFC 118.
“Frankie Edgar just dominated B.J. Penn,” White said. “Dominated him. [Maynard] just beat Kenny Florian. The fight’s going to do just fine.”