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Frankie Edgar Believes Improved Jiu-Jitsu And Title Fight Experience Give Him An Edge

UFC lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will be going up against the only man who holds a victory over him, Gray Maynard, in his next title defense. The two men met in the Octagon back in 2008 and Maynard earned a solid unanimous decision win over Edgar largely by utilizing his size and dominant wrestling. Speaking during an appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Beatdown show, Edgar explained why he believes his chances to win are much improved this time around.

“When he took me down the first fight, the first couple of rounds I was able to get up. The third round, he did a good job of holding me down,” said Edgar. “I didn’t really have the jiu-jitsu that I have today. … Now I have jiu-jitsu techniques that I think will aid me in getting back to my feet.”

Along with Edgar’s inexperience in jiu-jitsu contributing to his loss in the first fight, Maynard’s marked size advantage also paved the way to a victory for “The Bully.” Edgar is definitely on the smaller end of the lightweight scale, cutting only a few pounds to make the 155-pound limit, whereas Maynard is speculated to weigh upwards of 175-pounds before making the cut. Edgar won’t make excuses though, and asserted that Maynard’s skills are just as much responsible for his win as was his size.

“I think it definitely played a part, but I don’t think that was the main reason I lost,” Edgar said. “I don’t think I lost because I was the smaller fighter. I think he just fought a better fight that night, and his game plan worked better than mine. But I was actually a little bit smaller that night than I am now. I packed on some weight since that fight, but he’s still going to be bigger. He’s still going to have the size advantage.”

What Edgar lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and a rapid-fire work rate. “The Answer” flits around the Octagon like a hummingbird, tagging up and taking down his opponents until they are too worn out to use any size advantage they may have against him. The Tom’s River, New Jersey native believes this fact, coupled with his experience in five round fights (he has gone the distance in two title fights) will pay dividends against Maynard.

“I’m sure Gray’s preparing for the [five five-minute rounds], but there’s nothing like having the experience doing it like I have my last two fights,” Edgar explained. “I’m hoping to take him in deep water and hoping I can wear him out. In four and five rounds, I’m expecting to hopefully take control.”

Edgar will attempt to make the second defense of his lightweight title this January 1st, when he and Maynard meet in the main event of UFC 125: Resolution, which will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.