UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was forced out of his planned UFC 130 title defense later this month against Gray Maynard with what was widely reported to be a rib injury; “The Answer” recently explained to UFC.com that, while he has been suffering a rib injury, it was actually his back which finally caused him to drop out of the fight.
“All of the reports are talking about my ribs, it’s actually my back,” Edgar said. “My back’s been bothering me for quite some time. A few weeks ago I had to take a week off so that my back could calm down and I was trying to fight through it. I got through it and it kept blowing out on me here and there but then I ended up blowing out a rib last week. My rib kept popping in and out and then last week my back went out on me really bad, so I went to see a doctor and he said I’ve got bulging discs and now I’m going to go see a specialist to see what he can do about it.”
Considering the proximity of his planned title fight — UFC 130 is scheduled for May 28 — Edgar was planning on going through with the bout regardless of the pain, but eventually thought better of it and pulled out of the fight.
“I was planning on going through with the fight with the back injury,” he said. “I didn’t want to postpone the bout at all. I feel like I lost the fight right now. I’m very depressed about this whole situation. I’m sure in a couple of days I’ll realize I did the right thing by going to see a doctor. It’s not fair to myself, to Gray, it’s not fair to the fans to take a fight like this. I mean, I’m never 100 percent healthy when I step in the Octagon anyway but this is something different. I’m not even 30% right now. When it’s really inflamed, the pain is excruciating. When it happened on Saturday the drive back home from Ricardo’s was the longest drive of my life.”
Edgar and Maynard were to meet for the third time, their second meeting in a title fight. When they first fought, in 2008, Maynard defeated Edgar via unanimous decision. In their most recent fight, Edgar and Maynard fought to a draw in one of the most exciting title fights in recent memory.