UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will look to defend his belt for the second time this January 1st, against the only man to have defeated him in a professional bout, Gray Maynard. Maynard and Edgar met at a UFC Fight Night in 2008, where “The Bully” took a unanimous decision over “The Answer.” Speaking during a conference call in promotion of the bout recently, Edgar and Maynard discussed the bout and how they think things will play out differently now that more than two years have passed. (Props to Fighters Only for the transcription).
“It was two and a half years ago,” Maynard said of he and Edgar’s first bout. “Any time you’re going up against the top in the world, you evolve and change and so I’m prepared for a new fight and change and so I’m prepared for a new fight and it will be good. I’m pumped for it.”
For his part, Edgar had a similar take on the matter, saying that they have both evolved since their last bout and that fact will change the outcome of this upcoming fight. The Tom’s River, New Jersey native believes that several factors will come into play in determining the result of his next title defense, none of them being his first bout with Maynard.
“You know, it’s really hard to tell,” Edgar said of how he thinks his next bout will turn out. “It’s going to depend how Gray approaches the fight and how I perform that night. I’m hoping it’s a different fight and I’m hoping to have a different outcome.”
Though Edgar is the champion of the division and earned two wins over BJ Penn–one of the sport’s pound for pound best–to get there, he is still one of the more underrated fighters in the division (next to Jim Miller) and will likely be considered the underdog in this bout with Maynard. “The Answer” explained that the lack of respect he gets doesn’t bother him much and that, as long as he continues to win, he will eventually get his due.
“You know, I just think it takes time,” Edgar said of getting the respect he deserves. “You know, BJ’s been around for such a long time. He’s been kind of, you know, the dominant force at lightweight, so, you know, it’s the process it takes for guys to welcome somebody new. I’m seeing it more and more, man, but, you know, that’s not what it’s about. You know, if I keep winning fights, the respect will come eventually.”
Edgar and Maynard will meet in the main event of UFC 125: Resolution this New Year’s Day at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.