ABU DHABI - It was not a dominating victory for Frankie Edgar, although the judges gave him the unanimous decision over B.J. Penn at UFC 112 Saturday night in Abu Dhabi.
However, the New Jersey lightweight used his speed and footwork to get in and out, and out-point Penn, ultimately taking the title away from the man who was considered the best 155-pounder on the planet.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan voiced the fact that Edgar does not cut any weight to make the lightweight limit of 155 lbs. and Penn does. This could explain the difference in energy levels the two fighters displayed during the bout.
Edgar never seemed to slow down or tire the entire five rounds. He continued to move at unpredictable angles and punch the face of Penn. After each consecutive round, the area under Penn’s eyes looked worse and worse for wear.
Edgar also managed to do what no one has done in years, and that is score a takedown on Penn, not once, but twice. Admittedly, the Hawaiian popped right back to his feet both times, but still, if nothing else, it was a mental victory for Edgar.
Penn did what has become his trademark style, and that is to stand and box, and throw a few kicks. If he hurts or knocks his opponent to the ground, he will often finish it with a submission. This has worked against previous lightweight opponents, but he finally faced someone who could match him with boxing.
It would be interesting to hear legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach’s opinion on the fight. He has been quoted as saying he believes B.J. Penn has the best boxing in MMA. Would he still hold to this opinion?
Is Frankie Edgar a better boxer than B.J. Penn? Is he a better mixed martial arts fighter than B.J. Penn? Did Penn overlook Edgar? Was something wrong with Penn’s leg that hindered his movement?
Penn left the Octagon immediately after the bout and gave no post-fight interview, so we are left to ponder these questions for now.
As stated earlier, it was not a domination of Penn. Penn was not injured, nor ever hurt in the fight. The judges simply ruled that he was out-pointed. An immediate rematch might be something to consider.
For now though, Frankie Edgar should enjoy the moment and bask in the glory of being ruled the better man on this particular night. He has just turned the entire UFC lightweight division on its head and deserves all the credit in the world.
The MMA world eagerly awaits for the dust to settle, hear from Penn, and find out what is next for “The Prodigy”. He is still one of the most talented and beloved fighters the world has ever seen, and nothing will ever change that.