Frankie Edgar knows better than almost anybody that the sport of mixed martial arts thrives on the philosophy of ‘what have you done for me lately.’
In Edgar’s case, that’s dealing with the first knockout loss of his career when he fell to Brian Ortega at UFC 222 just a few weeks ago and then turning around to book his next fight against Cub Swanson in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City on Saturday night.
Frankie Edgar Always Has Something to Prove
There were plenty of people saying that Edgar had no business fighting again so soon after suffering a knockout. Others believed that the page had finally turned on Edgar after he famously survived onslaughts from Gray Maynard in back-to-back fights, yet was finished by Ortega in the first round of their match-up.
As much as those questions might anger Edgar considering the kind of legendary resume he’s put together throughout his career, he’d rather look ahead towards his showdown with Swanson, where he can prove to the naysayers that he’s still got plenty of road left in front of him before he’s finished with fighting.
“You always have something to prove because in this sport you’re only as good as your last fight,” Edgar told MMAWeekly. “Right now, my last fight is not too great for me. I feel like I have something to prove every fight and the pressure is probably a little more. This is the zone I live in. If you want good things, you’ve got to get used to that pressure.
“I do feel like I’m not done yet. I’ve still got goals to achieve. March 3 didn’t go as I wanted it to, but it’s just a hiccup.”
How Did Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson 2 Happen?
There may have been a number of opponents that could have faced Edgar in his return to action this weekend, but Swanson’s name didn’t seem to be a likely candidate until the fight was announced.
None of that seemed to matter to Edgar, who only cared about fighting in his home state against another top ranked opponent. Swanson just happened to be the name on the other end of his contract.
“Cub’s a game dude and I know it was kind of short notice and other guys wouldn’t want to fight on short notice like that. Just because we fought before, it was a while ago. I’m a different fighter. He’s a different fighter. Just because I beat him the last time doesn’t mean it’s an automatic ‘W’ the next time,” Edgar said.
“I’ve got to make sure I prepare the right way and I have the right mindset to go in there. You can’t go in there thinking ‘oh, I beat him before; it’s going to be easier this time.’ If anything, I’m going in there thinking it’s going to be harder this time and I’m going to bring the intensity to match that.”
Cub Swanson Speeds Frankie Edgar’s Return to a UFC Title Shot
Perhaps the best part about a rematch with Swanson is that a win on Saturday night puts Edgar right back where he wants to be on the hunt for the featherweight title.
Rather than handing him an up-and-coming prospect or a ranked fighter with far less name value, Edgar is getting the chance to face the No. 4 featherweight in the world with hopes that he’ll still fight for UFC gold in the very near future.
“I’m always going to fight the best guys,” Edgar said. “I fight whoever they ask but it’s almost always the top five guys. If I want to stay in the top five, I have to continues to beat these top five guys.
“Definitely a win over Cub keeps me there and keeps me in that [title] picture.”