All of Toms River, N.J. can breathe a resounding sigh of relief. Their lovable hero Frankie Edgar has snapped his three-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 162 Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
This was Edgar’s first three-round fight since December 2009. The former champion—who has been known for being a slow starter—did not have the luxury of two extra rounds Saturday night.
Both fighters set a fast pace right from the opening bell, but as the fight wore on, Edgar started to find his rhythm and take control of the fight.
The only time the New Jersey native was in any trouble was at the end of the second round—when after completing a takedown, he was caught in a guillotine attempt until the round ended.
After landing a big flurry in the final round, Edgar never looked back, finishing the fight in comfortable top position with some steady ground-and-pound.
“Felt just as hard as a five-round fight,” Edgar told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview. “I just want to say, it’s nice to talk to you while I got a smile on my face.”
Edgar had plenty to smile about, since the last three times he spoke to Rogan he was a loser of a title fight. This win wasn’t over a top-tier opponent, but it gives him some breathing room and gets him off the snide.
“It’s like I’ve been to hell these past three fights,” he said. “I’m climbing my way back.”
After a good decision by the UFC to match Edgar against an opponent outside the top 10, it will be interesting to see the next step in his quest to get back to a title shot.
Does the UFC put him up against a fighter in the bottom of the top 10 to see if he can continue his momentum? Or does it throw him back in the mix against one of the fighters in the top half of the 145-pound division?
Edgar is the No. 3-ranked featherweight and the No. 10-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC rankings. He’s back in the win column and relieved of pressure. His next fight should be a step up in challenge.
Cub Swanson looked outstanding in his win over Dennis Siver at UFC 162. He is the No. 5-ranked 145-pounder, and that is the matchup for Edgar that makes the most sense.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.