The age old storyline of the master beating the young apprentice played out in Dallas, Texas last evening as the Frankie Edgar beat the brakes off of the up and coming Mexican, Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211.
Edgar put on a performance to remember as he nullified the striking arsenal of Rodriguez and took him down to the mat repeatedly where he punished him with ground and pound. The fight was stopped by the doctor at the end of the second round after he ruled that the Mexican could no longer continue due to his left eye being swollen shut.
There was a brief minute of confusion as to whether the third round would go ahead, but speaking to Megan Olivi backstage afterwards, Edgar said he was just happy to get the victory.
“We saw the ref wave it off and we got excited, but then the ref said ‘Hold up, hold up’ so I think Mark [Henry] thought maybe they were going to let him come back out again,” Edgar explained. “I saw Mark’s reaction and I was like ‘Dana what the f*ck,’ but it all turned out alright.”
Having made his UFC debut over ten years ago, Edgar said that he was finally starting to feel like one of the older guard in the promotion and that he was enjoying the role of being the more experienced man.
“This whole week I definitely felt like a veteran, but for the longest time I felt like a kid in here,” Edgar said. “I’m finally feeling like the veteran and it only took ten years for that to happen. Time goes by so fast, so to you other guys, make it count because you look back and you’re already ten years in.”
Having beaten one of the divisions up and coming stars convincingly, Edgar said he feel like he put a marker in the sand. The former UFC lightweight champion still believes he’s relevant in the title picture and says that if Max Holloway wins at UFC 212, he thinks he should be the next in line for a title shot.
“I’m still in it—I’m in it to be the best and I’m not going to spring anybody,” Edgar said. “I wanted to go in there and steal his fans—I’m like a vampire trying to drink that young blood. I really don’t know [who wins between Aldo and Holloway], not so long ago, Aldo said he was going to retire, Holloway has been on a tear. Aldo has been at the top for a long time apart from that one fight—it’s a tough one to call. Let's see. The best is going to win and hopefully, I get the winner of that. I’m a realist, I know they probably won’t want to run back me and Aldo a third time so quickly, but I’m going to lobby for it and if Holloway wins, it definitely makes sense for me to be that guy.”
Based on his performance last night, few would argue that Edgar doesn’t deserve to have his name in the title talk at 145-pounds.