UFC 118: Five Things Frankie Edgar Must Do To Beat BJ Penn Again
April 10th, 2010, at UFC 112 the MMA world sat in utter disbelief as Frankie "The Answer" Edgar lived up to his moniker by solving the riddle that was BJ Penn at lightweight.
Not only did Edgar take the UFC lightweight title from Penn, but he also handed him his first lightweight loss in eight years.
Simply put, Frankie Edgar fought the fight of his life at UFC 112 and now with UFC 118, and his rematch with BJ Penn quickly approaching the entire MMA community is wondering whether or not Edgar will be able to duplicate his Abu Dhabi performance.
If Edgar intends to prove the doubters wrong once again, he will need to these five things...
5. Dictate Pace
If there has been one consistent throughout BJ Penn's career, it is his inconsistency with conditioning.
While Penn has looked to be in incredible shape at times, it is and has always been the one glaring weakness in his game.
Edgar needs to push BJ Penn to the limit; force him into a war of attrition. If Edgar can wear Penn down he will be able to control the action and break Penn's will.
4. Be Selective With Opportunities
BJ Penn is a great fighter; one of the best to ever step foot inside the octagon. Edgar must respect the skill and tools Penn brings into the cage with him.
Edgar knows he has the conditioning to take this fight into the later rounds, so it will be paramount that he does not take any chances while Penn is still fresh.
Edgar must be selective with his attacks, move in and out and do not stand in the pocket. The more Edgar can vary his attacks and keep Penn guessing, the more openings he will create throughout the fight.
3. Change Level and Score Takedowns
BJ Penn has some of the best takedown defense in MMA, but at UFC 112 Frankie Edgar was able to get the fight to the ground on multiple occasions and at UFC 118 is Boston Edgar will need to do the same thing.
Level changes and takedowns keep your opponent honest. The last thing Edgar wants in this fight is for Penn to settle in and get comfortable. Edgar must force Penn to respect and fear the takedown.
2. Utilize Speed Advantage
If Frankie Edgar has one clear cut advantage coming into this fight against Penn it's in the speed department.
At UFC 112, Edgar was able to frustrate Penn and keep him off balance with his varied attack and speed.
Edgar must utilize and vary his speed continually if he wishes to defend his belt when closing and creating distance. The more Frankie can use his speed to simply frustrate Penn, the more openings he will create for himself later in the fight.
1. Fight Like A Champion
Heading into UFC 112, Frankie Edgar was a huge underdog and he fought with enough fire and passion to pull off the upset.
Now even though he has the gold draped around his waist, Edgar will head into Boston as the underdog yet again.
It's said that you not really a champion until you defend your belt, UFC 118 will show what kind of champion Edgar is.
Edgar needs to fight smart, and he needs to show his champion spirit.
Can Frankie Edgar win this fight? Absolutely!
Will Frankie Edgar win this fight? No way!
Frankie Edgar is a tremendous fighter and a class guy, but he is not BJ Penn.
While Penn has had an up and down career at times, there is no denying his talent or the fact that when it is all said and done he will be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all-time.
Frankie Edgar had to fight a perfect fight and execute a perfect game plan at UFC 112, and it is highly unlikely that he will be able to do that again.
Prediction: BJ Penn via third round stoppage