by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Frankie Edgar shocked the world on April 10 by defeating B.J. Penn in the UFC 112 co-main event with a performance that UFC president Dana White called, “one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.”
Entering the Octagon as a 7-to-1 underdog, almost nobody gave Edgar much of a chance against the top ranked lightweight in the world, but the New Jersey native executed the perfect game plan to snatch the belt from the legendary Hawaiian.
Edgar remained persistent and kept the same pace throughout the five-round title bout, winning the championship rounds… the fourth and fifth.
“I’ve always been a guy to get stronger as the fight goes on, especially with a five-round fight, so I knew that as the fight goes on I typically get stronger,” Edgar said following the fight. “That one takedown I got, fourth round maybe, I definitely felt the ball rolling for me.
“With B.J., his timing is great, so you can’t just go in without something behind it. Movement was big, it was key in that fight,” added the newly crowned UFC lightweight titleholder.
Asked if he was surprised Penn didn’t try to get the fight to the ground, Edgar answered, “He’s been standing up most of his fights lately, so it wasn’t a big surprise. Did I expect him to shoot? Yeah, he could have, but I think the movement was a little bit hard for him to shoot on.”
The bout with Penn was extremely close with several of the rounds difficult to score, and when the first judge’s scorecard was read as 50-45 for Edgar, many were surprised.
“I don’t know about every single round, I’ll be honest with you. They were close… but all rounds? I don’t know,” said Edgar about judge Douglas Crosby scoring him winning all five rounds.
White felt the fight could have gone either way and anticipates a rematch in the not too distant future.
“I honestly didn’t know who was gonna win that fight, and I thought it could have went either way,” he commented. “I thought it was a close, close fight. When the one guy said it was a blowout like that, I don’t think either one of these guys blew it out that big.
“I’m sure there will be a rematch,” added White. “Maybe Frankie defends his title and then we do a rematch. We’ll see what happens. B.J. Penn is one of the best 55 pounders in the world. I don’t think he’s gonna go anywhere.”