All Edgar did at UFC 118 was beat the guy considered the best lightweight of all time ... again.
All he did was silence any believers that BJ Penn was the better fighter the first time around, and that he'd never figure out a way to fool the judges twice.
Edgar didn't just shut out Penn; he hurled a perfect game.
The UFC lightweight champion held on to his belt by outworking the legend everywhere. He outlanded Penn 155-53. He took him down four times. His foot movement and hand speed had Penn swinging at air. By the end, he'd captured all five rounds on all three judges' scorecards. Only Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 had beaten Penn more soundly, and St. Pierre is the most celebrated resident of a higher weight class.
The performance left UFC president Dana White effusive and Penn nearly speechless.
"This kid just beat the s--- out of BJ Penn for five rounds," White said after the fight. "Dominated him in every facet of the fight: on the ground, on top, on bottom, standup, everything."
"Frankie fought a great fight," Penn said. "He's the man. I have nothing bad to say. He's the man. What else can you say?"
Edgar? The soft-spoken father of two was his usual, understated self.
Asked in the post-fight press conference how important it was to get a statement win over Penn in the wake of the more controversial UFC 112 decision, Edgar shrugged.
"I think it was more important for you guys than it was for me," he said. "I go in to every fight trying to win and trying to do my best. That's all I can do, but that should help get some of you guys off my back for sure."
Edgar has been maligned as a lightweight since entering the UFC. Thought to be undersized, he upset Tyson Griffin in his debut and rolled to wins in his first three fights before losing a decision to Gray Maynard, the man who will ironically oppose him in his next title defense.
Prior to Saturday night, Edgar had won four straight, but even after a razor-close matchup in his first fight with Penn, the champ was a sizeable underdog in defending the belt. But this one had barely a moment of doubt. Edgar took Penn down seconds into the fight, one of two takedowns in the opening five minutes. He captured the round and as the fight went on, they began to pile up as Edgar built a lead that seemed insurmountable as the minutes passed.
"I felt him fade a little bit, but whether he faded or not, I wanted to push the pace and keep backing him up," Edgar said.
If there was one sequence that showed the champion's resolve it came in the fifth. Penn was down all four rounds on the scorecards and came out for the round with energy, taking Edgar down immediately.
Penn punched Edgar with rights while looking to pass Edgar's guard; meanwhile, Edgar worked to get to his feet. Penn quickly took Edgar's back, a dangerous spot as Penn has finished five of his fights via rear naked choke. In an instant, though, Edgar created a scramble and ended up on top in Penn's guard. With Penn's last hope extinguished, it was on to the final bell, on to Maynard, on to the respect he's deserved all along.
"The kid's got a heart as big as this room," White said. "He comes from wrestling, but his boxing is unbelievable, his jiu-jitsu was great tonight, his wrestling was sick. He picked BJ up and power slammed him. I guarantee you BJ Penn is banged up right now."
Edgar, of course, had little more to say. The work stood for itself.
"I think every fighter should fight with a chip on their shoulder," Edgar said. "I believe in myself. I know my team believes in me. If it takes time to get you guys to believe in me, I'll do that, too.
"I definitely wanted to make it decisive so there were no questions," he continued. "You guys ask me questions, that maybe the first fight didn't go my way. No one can say anything now."
Settled then, by Edgar himself, the belt around his waist can no longer be considered a fluke or a judges' mistake. Maybe he didn't get the solo spotlight a champion deserves at UFC 118, but at least in routing the best lightweight in history, "The Answer" can be questioned no more.
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