This past weekend, Frankie Edgar suffered the worst loss of his career, getting knocked out by Cory Sandhagen with a jumping knee just 28 seconds into the first round. It’s an outcome that was very disappointing for Edgar but one he seems to have resigned himself to.
“It is what it is,” Edgar told ESPN. “This is an unforgiving sport. It sucks, man. I’m going to be on this guy’s highlight reel forever, and that’s just going to play forever. But it is what it is. It could’ve easily been him on the other end. And I’ve been on the other end of those, as well.”
The knockout wasn’t just extremely quick, it was also extremely brutal and likely to end up on “KO of the Year” lists at the end of 2021. Edgar was out cold before he face-planted to the canvas and stayed down for several minutes after the KO. And though Edgar was able to stand for the official announcement, the former lightweight champion reveals that he was completely out of it for much longer than that.
“I didn’t really come to until I was in the back,” Edgar explained. “That is the first thing I remember. I’m sitting around the doctors going through that whole process with them, Mark and Ricardo are next to me and I’m like, ‘Mark, what happened?’ He’s like ‘You fought,’ and I kind of figured that but, I couldn’t remember who the f*ck I fought. I’m like ‘Who did I fight?’ He’s like ‘Sandhagen.’ I’m trying to remember training for the guy and I could not remember training for him. Since when was I supposed to fight him? I thought maybe I just took this fight on short notice or something. He’s like ‘Bro, two months. You’ve been training for this guy for two months.’ I just couldn’t wrap it around my head.
“The doctor asked me what day it was and for the life of me, I could not remember. I was like, ‘September, December.’ That is when they said I needed to go get a cat scan. We go to the hospital and then on the way to the hospital the nurse in the ambulance said ‘What day of February is it?’ I’m like, ‘Boom, the 6th.’ Right away that is when things started snowballing and I started to remember. Then I remembered the warmup and even the first 20 seconds before getting hit with the knee. So everything came back to me but I don’t remember walking out of the cage though.”
While recounting this story, Edgar made a point of noting that this kind of thing is not uncommon in fighting and that he’s had similar experiences occasionally in training. So despite the scary nature of the knockout and its after effects, Edgar says he’s still has no plans on retiring, at least not yet.
“This is what I’ve been doing my whole life,” Edgar explained. “I understand the risks and there’s nothing we can do about it. It already happened. I still feel like I’m pretty with it. A lot of people want to look at that – it was a nasty knockout, for sure – but was that any better than me getting my head beat in for a round by Gray Maynard and still finding a way? I took one shot here. Gray Maynard, I took 15 shots. What’s better? I don’t know. When you get old, people are like, ‘Now you’ve got to retire!’ If I got knocked out when I was 25 would you say retire?”
The reality for Edgar though is that many people are going to call for his retirement. Edgar is 2-4 over his last six fights, including three stoppage losses, something he had never suffered in his career until 2018. Edgar is a shoe-in for the UFC Hall of Fame and so the question really is, with nothing left to accomplish in the sport, how much longer will he keep at it? Edgar says he doesn’t know the answer to that, he just knows it’s not right now.
“I don’t know when it’s gonna happen,” Edgar concluded. “It’s just going to have to happen one day. It may be me, it may be my coaches. I’m hoping it’s me first. I don’t want to be the guy where someone has to tell me that I need to walk away, but it may take that. I don’t know. The type of person I am, it may take my coaches or my wife to be like, ‘Yo, it’s time to walk away.’ I just know that time’s not now. And I feel like they know that time’s not now as well.”
Between the Links.
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Dana White says Jon Jones fights the winner of Stipe vs. Francis.
Offering their services.
Dustin Poirier responding to Dana’s obstinance.
Chucky Olives shutting Nate down.
Status: No interest, homie.
Goal: Lightweight belt
— Charles Oliveira (@CharlesDoBronxs) February 11, 2021
Justin Gaethje a little mad.
Credit for stacking up dubs but that’s now how this works.
— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) February 11, 2021
Pretty sure this is throwing shade at Gaethje.
Masvidal to Usman.
Congratulations are in order.
Mike Perry is boxing for a good cause.
The problem here is that Frankie is partially correct, he’s still with it. But when you’re talking about traumatic brain injury, that can turn on a dime. The idea is to walk away with your health, not when your health is already starting to go bad because then, you still have half of your life ahead of you, only now it’s compromised. I hope Frankie retires.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all next week.
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