On March 3, at UFC 222, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was finished for the first time in his 13-year mixed martial arts career by Brian Ortega. Ortega hurt Edgar with an elbow and then floored him with an uppercut. On April 21, Edgar will return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night 128 in a rematch against Cub Swanson, and some are concerned about the quick turnaround.
“I’m excited to get in there. I know I’m getting some flack from people on whether I’m taking this fight too soon or not, and that’s fine. It’s part of it. I know what I’m putting on the line here and I feel comfortable doing it, so I’m ready to prove people wrong again,” said Edgar during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
Edgar understands people’s concerns, but he didn’t suffer a concussion in his loss to Ortega. Before accepting the fight with Swanson, Edgar sought the advice of his coaches, training partners, friends, and family. Although he stated that the decision was his alone to make, the people around him were supportive.
“It’s not like I got turned off in there. Like I said, I was pretty with it afterward. I kind of knew what put me down. Even in the hotel room, I didn’t really have a headache or anything. I think I’ve left training with worse headaches than I had on March 3rd.”
Edgar’s desire to compete near his home in New Jersey played a part in his decision to return so quickly, but he also wants to put the loss to Ortega behind him.
“I’m the one in there. I’m the one putting it on the line, and there’s nothing like getting in there and getting a win to erase that last loss. It will never erase it, but at least it will kind of help deal with that sting. It’ll give me something positive to focus on instead of focusing on the negative,” he said.
Swanson and Edgar first fought at UFC Fight Night 57 in November 2014. Edgar dominated Swanson and finished him with a neck crank with seconds remaining in the bout earning a Performance of the Night bonus. He plans to do even better in the rematch on April 21.