The champion is no longer the challenger.
Frankie Edgar, the UFC lightweight champion, can finally silence all the doubters he created at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi last April. He did exactly what they wanted him to do Saturday night at UFC 118 in Boston, which was pretty much the exact same thing at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi last April.
Edgar beat BJ Penn. Again. This time winning every round clearly and decisively en route to a unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 50-45.
Time for everyone to regard Edgar as the true champion in the lightweight division of UFC.
Edgar (13-1, 8-1 UFC) will next face Gray Maynard, who beat Massachusetts native Kenny Florian via unanimous decision.
"Frankie fought a great fight, he's the man," said Penn (15-7-1). He fought me twice and walked away with the decision each time. Nothing bad to say."
Edgar was faster and more active than Penn, who walked and stalked around the octagon compared with Edgar's bouncing and moving and head wavering as he approached to punch.
With ease Edgar was able to take down Penn, not unlike the first time they fought. Edgar registered three takedowns in the first round and another in the second. So simply did Penn go down that it invoked three thoughts:
1) Is Penn done?
2) Is Edgar this good?
3) Is Penn letting him take him down in order to work his jiu-jitsu advantage on the ground?
The answers are: Probably not, yes, and we don't know because he rarely got to use his BJJ.
"I really have to go back and think about things," said Penn.
Penn appeared less confident as the rounds went on, but early in the fourth round, he took Edgar down. Same thing in the fifth. Each time, Edgar was able to squirm his way free and back to his feet.
Edgar, the champion at the start of the fight, became the champion after the fight as well.