Frankie Edgar has had a lot of UFC title fights. In fact, of his last seven fights with the UFC, all have been title bouts. In those contests, Edgar has a record of 3-3-1. When he steps into the Octagon at UFC 162 to face Charles Oliveira, it will be the first time Edgar has not fought for a UFC title since April 10, 2010, the date he ended the reign of UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
Edgar entered his UFC 112 bout against Penn riding a three-fight winning streak. Two of those three fights earned Edgar "Fight of the Night" bonus awards.
The oddsmakers looked at Edgar’s winning streak and record of 13-1 and said, ah, ain’t that cute, and made him a 450-point underdog to the 700-point favorite B.J. Penn. After all, Penn was (and still is) looked at as the greatest lightweight champion in UFC history.
Twenty-five minutes after the bout began, Penn’s reign had come to an end, as Edgar took home the unanimous decision (50-48, 48-47, 49-46) victory.
The FightMetric stats show that bout, at least on paper, was very evenly matched. Edgar landed 63 of 234 total strikes, while Penn landed 72 of 263 total strikes. Edgar was aggressive with his wrestling, attempting 13 takedowns over the course of the fight and having success on one of those attempts.
It should be noted that the takedown Edgar was successful on was the first time Penn had been taken to the mat as a lightweight since Takanori Gomi earned two takedowns against Penn at Rumble on the Rock 4 in October 2003.
What doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is the movement and feints Edgar used throughout the fight, throwing Penn off his rhythm and creating an elusive target. That movement could have been the difference, possibly convincing the judges that Edgar was in control of the bout.
Since defeating Penn, Edgar has gone 2-3-1, with one of those wins being a rematch with Penn. Edgar is currently riding a three-fight losing streak, and he’ll be facing significant pressure when he faces Oliveira, who is ranked outside the top 10 in the featherweight division, on July 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada.