Good Evening
Good Evening
SportsMixed Martial Arts

UFC 112: Frankie Edgar upsets BJ Penn

Frankie Edgar, right, lands a punch en route

Frankie Edgar, right, lands a punch en route to the upset win over UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. (April 10, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Props to Frankie Edgar for stunning the MMA world and beating BJ Penn for the lightweight championship at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.

Not to cheapen his accomplishment -- dude, he took down Penn twice, the first time that's happened to Penn at lightweight in six-plus years -- but did Edgar really win the belt? Or, did Penn lose it?

It's semantics, sure, but that's what create good debate in sports. Yes, Edgar will bring home the championship belt to Tom's River, N.J., after his unanimous decision victory. The judges scored it 50-45, 48-47, 49-46.

"This is it," Edgar said. "BJ is the greatest lightweight ever and I just beat him."

Having watched this fight twice already, we're still wondering why Penn looked so flat and uninterested. Was he thinking more about moving up to welterweight? Was he underestimating Edgar? Was he affected by the desert conditions on Yas Island? Was there a rough weight cut?

Whatever it was, this was not the Penn (15-6-1) we saw the past two fights. The knock on Penn had already been his conditioning and commitment to mixed martial arts. He fixed that issue against Kenny Florian (UFC 101) and Diego Sanchez (UFC 107).

Now, maybe it's back. Or maybe it was just a bad night. Or maybe it was just Frankie Edgar (12-1). Edgar did everything he was supposed to do. He pushed the action. He kept moving around. He avoided heavy contact. He used his speed to circle around Penn, who spent all five rounds standing in the middle of the ring.

Edgar made Penn work. He made the fight more competitive than anyone outside Edgar's camp and crew thought it would be.

"The belt doesn't fit," Edgar said. "Maybe I'm really a 145-pounder."

PHOTOS: UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi

New York Sports