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The UFC on ESPN 15 headliner between Pedro Munhoz and Frankie Edgar was undeniably a closely-contested fight.
While the cageside judges awarded Edgar a split-decision triumph, 17 of the 21 unofficial media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com had Munhoz winning the bantamweight fight. Munhoz also held the statistical edge, outlanding “The Answer” by a 166-to-135 count in significant strikes — a figure that included a 44-to-7 advantage in leg kicks.
“Not even [just] the leg kicks,” Munhoz said at the UFC on ESPN 15 post-fight press conference. “I was hurting him with jabs. I chase him (for) five rounds. He got a couple takedowns, but he couldn’t do anything with the takedowns. I got back up right away. I was looking for the finish.”
While Munhoz seemed to land with more power when he connected, Edgar certainly had his share of success, attacking with quick punching combinations and occasionally snapping his foe’s head back with straight right hands and uppercuts. Munhoz believed he hurt Edgar on a few occasions, but he credited his adversary for not tipping his hand during the fight.
“Yes, [I think I hurt him] a few times,” Munhoz said. “Not taking anything from him. He’s a hell of a fighter. Nothing but respect to him and all his team. I really saw a few times he was hurt. But he’s pretty tough. He hid that really good. The leg kicks he was hiding really good.”
Despite the statistical advantage, many of the exchanges were too close to call to the naked eye. Munhoz is concerned that Edgar, a former UFC lightweight champ and multi-time featherweight title challenger, may have been given the benefit of the doubt thanks to his considerable credentials.
“It could be,” Munhoz said. “I cannot be 100 percent sure about it .. The only thing I can think right now in this exact moment is the reputation. He’s a name, [a] legend.”
Even though he believes he deserved to win, Munhoz is quick to credit Edgar for his performance. He expects “The Answer” will be a factor in his new home, just as he was in two previous weight classes. However, Munhoz wants to be judged based on his own merits.
“Without a doubt,” Munhoz said. “He seems very healthy. He seems very strong, tough, good cardio — a lot of good skills. He definitely belongs in the Top 5 of the division. I just want fair things. I just don’t want to lose to people that have a better reputation than I do. Or people that are a former champ. That’s my point. I just want fair scores.”
Eventually, Munhoz will get with his coaches and see what he could have done better against Edgar. In the present, he’s still finding some humor in a disappointing setback.
“Right now just go back home, be mad for a couple days,” Munhoz said jokingly. “…I’m very grateful for what I do, for the people I have around me…At the end of the day that’s what matters is to have good people around and spread the love.”
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