Frankie Edgar seems to be just getting better with age.
The 38-year-old former champion made his bantamweight debut in the UFC on ESPN 15 main event where he picked up a hard-fought split decision win over Pedro Munhoz in a back-and-forth, five round war.
Nothing came easy for Edgar, who had to stand toe-to-toe with Munhoz for the majority of the fight but ultimately his boxing prowess with a volume striking attack did enough to edge out the win on the judges’ scorecards. Edgar secured the win with two officials giving him the fight with 48-47 scores while the third judge gave the fight to Munhoz with a 49-46 score.
“It’s good to be on the winning side,” Edgar said after earning a victory in his third different weight class in the UFC. That was a hell of a fight. Pedro’s a stud. I heard a lot of MF’ers barking that I’m old, I’m slow. I definitely proved them all wrong. I still got some fight in this tank. We’re going to make a run at 35.”
In his first fight at 135 pounds, Edgar was looking fast and accurate with his striking as he showcased his signature boxing with quick footwork behind every combination. In return, Munhoz established a series of kicks as he looked to punish Edgar’s lead leg.
Munhoz was also firing with some serious zip behind his punches while constantly looking to put Edgar away with every shot. While he managed to connect with several strikes, Edgar was able to absorb the damage and then fire back at Munhoz with three and four punches in succession.
As the fight continued, Munhoz began relying more and more on a stiff left jab followed by a leg kick that really started paying dividends. The forward pressure allowed Munhoz to cut off the cage, although he still has to be wary because Edgar was throwing with so much volume that he couldn’t let his guard down for a second.
While he had to contend with the damage done to his leg, Edgar was still launching combinations at will as he continued to tag Munhoz in most of their exchanges. Of course, Munhoz didn’t back down either while trying to take off Edgar’s head with a finish on his mind at all times.
The difference in the fight seemed to be Edgar’s ability to hit and move while landing on target with more regularity while Munhoz looked to connect with the better power shots. It was a slugfest throughout but two of the judges sided with Edgar in a razor-close fight after 25 minutes.
Now with a win on his record at bantamweight over a top-ranked opponent, Edgar has his eyes on the prize as he looks to make another title run in his new division.
“He was No. 5 and that might put me right in the top five,” Edgar said. “Three weight classes. I’m showing I can compete with the best, 38 years old, I don’t want to hear nothing from nobody.”