Frankie Edgar file photo: Sherdog.com
The picture of the lightweight division grew clearer on Aug. 28 in Boston, as there is no longer any debate. MMA’s lightweight king hails from Toms River, N.J.
For five rounds, Frankie Edgar outboxed, outwrestled and outwitted a sluggish, lethargic B.J. Penn to retain his UFC lightweight title and prove that, in spite of their controversial April bout in Abu Dhabi, he has emerged as the sport’s premier lightweight.
The next challenger for “The Answer” also surfaced at UFC 118, and it’s a familiar face. Gray Maynard used his potent wrestling to stick Kenny Florian to the mat, thwarting the Bostonian’s attempt to earn a third crack at the UFC lightweight championship in front of his hometown crowd. The next UFC lightweight title bout will be an interesting one: Maynard remains the only man to beat the current champion, taking a unanimous decision over Edgar back in April 2008.
A week earlier in Houston, two Brazilians left Texas with Strikeforce gold, solidifying their places in these rankings.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza notched the biggest win of his career, opting to outbox Tim Kennedy over five rounds instead of using his vaunted ground attack to take the Strikeforce middleweight crown. In the main event, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante put up a brick wall in front of the Muhammed Lawal hype train, stopping “King Mo” just 74 seconds into the third round to turn in an exciting upset win and take the Strikeforce 205-pound crown.