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B.J. Penn Set to Defend Title Against Frank Edgar in Abu Dhabi

What may have been one of the worst-kept secrets since top contender Gray Maynard barely out-pointed his way to a win over Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 this past Monday night has now been confirmed by both involved parties via the internet – current champion B.J. Penn will defend his UFC Lightweight Championship against 11-1 Frank Edgar. Penn, who had previously mentioned his next fight would likely take place at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, stated through his website that the New Jersey native was next in line for a crack at the strap. Edgar also assured his followers on Twitter that the bout was “a go”.

Edgar will attempt to live up to his nickname by finding “The Answer” to the in-ring riddle provided by a re-dedicated 155-pound Penn. The Hawaiian has been virtually untouchable at the weight for two years, most recently forcing a doctor’s stoppage against Diego Sanchez at UFC 107. The win was the third successful title defense of Penn’s reign atop the promotion’s lightweight division.

The pairing adds to a card already rumored to feature iconic welterweights Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie locking horns in Octagon, as well as Vitor Belfort standing in the way of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s eleventh consecutive victory in the UFC.

  • Makington says:

    2 pretty legit title fights in one night as well as another Hughes/Gracie match up?

    This is shaping up to be quite the UFC.

  • Bad Monkey says:

    Now that he’s getting a title shot it’s ‘Frank’ not Frankie anymore?

    No knock on Edgar, but I’m negative excited for this fight. After what BJ did to Florian & Diego, what real chance does Edgar have, when he should realistically be fighting at 145 to begin with?

  • Makington says:

    145 he’d be the champ, plain and simple, but that also means he’d be getting paid a fraction of what he makes now. Although he stands almost no chance against Penn, he obviously deserves a spot against the best at 155 so I’m sure that although he should be fighting at 145, he will stay at 155 for the next few years.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    I agree with Bad Monkey. I’m just curious to see how his technical boxing matches up to Penn. Edgar also has a 2 inch reach advantage against Penn which is also interesting. Edgar had a five inch reach advantage against Sherk and that showed big time. I don’t agree with the fact that he would be champ at 145 for the simple fact that to be the champ you got to beat the champ (wooo- Rick Flair). You don’t know how much power he would lose at 145 and you don’t know until you see it brother.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Edgar is game as hell, but so were Sherk, Sanchez, Florian and Stevenson. Penn will chew him up and spit him out.

  • king mah mah says:

    No human being is invincible. Not even BJ Penn. Frank Edgar has just as much a chance as anybody does. Don’t count him out just because nobody else has shown a weakness in BJ. He very well might have done his homework and has the tools to beat BJ.

    Me personally, I hope someone comes along and shakes up the LW division. My money would be on the underdog everytime just for the return!! Get at me DOG!!!!

  • thunder okami says:

    He’s fine at lightweight, why would he go to 145 when he’s having success at 155, also considering her just steamrolled a former 155 champ in sherk.

  • Rich S. says:

    Frankie can really make something out of this, he just needs to look at BJ’s past couple bouts..
    Everyone who has tried to strike with BJ has been dismantled..
    Stevenson and Sanchez got rocked almost instantly in their bouts, so he certainly shouldn’t rush in..
    But, BJ’s submissions are so unstoppable (at Lightweight) that you kind of have to strike with him..
    It’s basically a gamble..
    Do you want to strike and risk getting your world rocked?
    Or do you want to try and pull a GSP on BJ?
    The latter is extremely hard to do… Before AND after you hit the ground..

    I’ve always taken Frankie as a smart fighter so I’m sure he’ll have a solid gameplan..
    Unfortunately for him, that doesn’t really mean anything when you’re standing across the cage from BJ..

  • PlagueAngel says:

    No one at 155 is going to pull a GSP game plan because no one is as big and strong as him at 155. If you look at Penns recent losses, when he does struggle, its against a wrestling game plan with a bigger fighter. Frankie is not going to be able to take him down so don’t even bother thinking its going to the ground. That would be a disaster for Edgar. Look for Edgar to try to out strike Penn and probably fail. Unless Edgar technical boxing has improved immensely, Penn is going to pick him apart and perhaps take Edgar down and submit him. I hope Penn moves up to 170 after this fight because there is nothing for him left at 155. Was it one or two more fights until his welterweight run?

  • hindsightufuk says:

    dont quite understand why to give the shot to Frankie rather than Gray, after all Gray did beat him already. Not that the UFC title challengers make sense too often anyway, guess he’s more entertaining than Gray for sure. Good luck to him, he’s gonna need it. Just stoked about seeing BJ fight again.

  • “No knock on Edgar, but I’m negative excited for this fight. After what BJ did to Florian & Diego, what real chance does Edgar have, when he should realistically be fighting at 145 to begin with?”

    And thinking like that is how everyone gets shockers like Cro Cop Vs. Big Gabe and Serra Vs. GSP

    I think Frankie has a much better chance against BJ than Gray. The Bully showed the other night that he is TERRIFIED of Nate Diaz on the ground….BJ is better there. Gray also showed that his chin isnt what everyone thought, After Nate dropped him he was obviously hurt, BJ would send him into oblivion. Frankie has worked his boxing extensively and has been workin hard on his BJJ with The big dog which means his sub defense will be strong that night. I dont think he can submit or KO The champ, but if he can stay elusive maybe he can grind a decision. That being said, Penn will probably finish him inside three rounds.

  • DeDub says:

    I only hope that BJ doesn’t have a let down…Frankie Edgar is a nice fighter but he is not big enough to really challenge the top of the 155 class (BJ, Diego, KenFlo & alike). The only other question I have is why take such a nice card overseas, I understand that the UFC is trying to branch out and expand thier empire but I am a little sick of the no title shot cards. They need to seperate the title shots or make main/co-main event fights 5 rounds.

    P.S. After BJ wins I would love to see the first cross promo (WEC/UFC) fight to be B.J. vs. Jose Aldo or BJ vs. Ben Henderson. Those would be huge fights.

  • Kuch says:

    I remember everyone saying Randy Couture didn’t have a chance against Tim Sylvia when he came out of retirement to face him. I don’t wish to compare Couture to Edgar, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Penn lose his title to a huge underdog.

  • Guthookd says:

    I think the UFC made the right choice in offering the shot to Frank instead of Gray. Gray needs a little more work and a few more fights. No sense in a failed title shot when he might actually be able to take the title in a year or so.

    BJ will probably win, but I have hight hopes for Edgar. I hope it goes into the 3rd at least.

  • MCM says:

    I think Edgar deserves the shot over Gray aswell. In fact, he’s the ONLY guy at LW that deserves a shot right now and that’s pretty sad for the division. BJ needs to take a fight or two at WW and let some of these other guys get better so that there is a real challenge for him at LW. A. Silva had to do it in the MW division (Cote anyone) so why not have BJ move up until there’s a legit challenger.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Yeah, it is MMA, and anything can happen short of Frankie bringing a Gun and a pitbull into the cage, but I would have given Gray a better shot because of his wrestling. Who knows, maybe Penn listens too much to the hype, figures he has all lightweights in the bag and starts slacking off on his training and working a little too hard on his Spam McMuffin’s(If you haven’t been to Hawaii, I’m not kidding about those) and bam he gets caught, or is worn down by a good, strong wrestler, ala Hughes, and gasses out. Now at 155 are any of the wrestlers good enough, who knows, just saying I think Gray had a chance. The Diaz fight I think Gray got caught up with the trash talking and it was good to see Couture call him out on it between rounds, and he was maybe too afraid of the groundgame of Nate. I say drill him on sub defense, 26 hours a day, and during rest periods remind him he can wrestle and box, and he has a shot. As for Frankie, I think it will look like his first day on the prison yard.

  • Rece Rock says:

    BJ all day… not really concerned.

    He just needs to take every fight serious so he doesn’t allow an upset by being over confident, I think BJ will get the W.

  • manny says:

    It appears the the 155 lbs div is about to suck in the ufc and this is the 1st fight of it.Sure they are some talented fighters but no true contenders agains bj. Penn will pound frankie’s face and will not be able to take him down. Maynard is still not worthy of a title fight and would lose as well.There’s no fignter in the ufc @ 155 that poses a serious threat to penn. Only hope is that Gomi beats Ken Flo and we may have a great title fight @ 155. Other than that, I see penn chasing gsp again.
    Why would Franki move to 145? Aldo will KO him in seconds. Duh!

  • MMApride19 says:

    king mah mah: No human being is invincible. Not even BJ Penn. Frank Edgar has just as much a chance as anybody does. Don’t count him out just because nobody else has shown a weakness in BJ. He very well might have done his homework and has the tools to beat BJ.Me personally, I hope someone comes along and shakes up the LW division. My money would be on the underdog everytime just for the return!! Get at me DOG!!!!  

    I have seen Penn take some HUGE shots and walk right threw them. Without even dazing him, im starting to think he is invincible lol… seriously, punches dont seem to hurt this guy. They may exhaust him.. when he isnt in shape. But when he is in shape.. i seriously cant see ANYONE in the LW division beating him. Could anyone out box him? I most definetly dont think so, his speed and power is unbelievable in fact. Could anyone defeat him using BJJ? I certainly dont think so, his BJJ is by far the best in the LW division IMO. The only guys i see beating an ‘in shape’ BJ Penn are fighters in higher weight classes. Although i am not a big fan, i seriously respect this guys ability, the way he has been walking threw all the top LW fighters is just crazy. ATM he is in a very similiar situation to Anderson Silva, they are winning there fights EASILY.

    I understand exactly what you mean when you say no fighter is invincible, and every fighter can get caught etc. But i have seen BJ Penn get caught flush on the jaw many times… and he carrys on going, and this was by MUCH bigger more powerful fighters. I really can not see Edgar catching Penn, i cant see him out boxing or out striking Penn, and i certainly cant see him beating him on the ground. I give Edgar VERY little chance. However im most certainly excited for the fight.. in fact for the whole event.. Its shaping up to be a HUGE event. Im getting very excited for it!

  • “Only hope is that Gomi beats Ken Flo and we may have a great title fight @ 155”

    ummmmm…..Bj beat the hell out of gomi and almost strangled him till his eyes popped out, and that was BEFORE Bj was serious. Gomi is less of a challenge than Kenflo, Diego, or in my eyes Frankie. Gomi gets a good chance to sink or swim here in the ufc. But I think Kenny will out do him.

  • FroMuaythai47 says:

    Even the most skilled fighters can be beat no matter how good they are or how invincible they may seem. BJ Penn is one of the most skilled fighters of all time which gives him the ability to win but in my opinion its not the main reason he is so dominant. Dont get me wrong his incredible talent is a large piece of the equation but his granite chin and superior punching power are the two main reasons nobody at LW has found a way to beat him lately. Frabk Edgar has a huge challenge in front of him bt regardless of what most people think I belive Edgar has the best chance to at least make Penn have to work for this win. Everybody so far has had little to no head movement and horrible footwork which does not match up well against a guy with bricks for hands and arguably the best boxing in mma! The other mistake often made against BJ is putting him against the fence and wasting energy and time trying to pull off a single when they have a better chance of seeing god riding a unicorn. Frankie wont make that mistake and might get knocked out but I think he will keep Penn honest and make him work for this one!

  • FroMuaythai47 says:

    If Frankie uses his excellent footwork and uses angles to strike and move he could have a chance at picking BJ apart and outpointing him. The problem is his footwork must be spot on and he needs to utilize pefect head movement because BJ hits so hard it only takes one to put any fighter on queer street. Edgar also has superior wrestling skills and has a better chance of taking BJ down with a sick double leg than all those guys who tried the single leg unicorn take down i mentioned! I really think he is much better off with plan A.. using perfect footwork and head movement to strike and move.. outpoint BJ and grab that belt! it wont be easy but it is possible!

  • Dufresne says:

    Edgar doesn’t have much of a chance here.
    I’ll never say he has no chance after watching Serra TKO GSP and The Natural demolish Sylvia, but I just don’t see that happening here. BJ hasn’t been taken down at LW in over 7, as in SEVEN, years!

    Edgar is a hell of a talent, but at LW he’s a small talent, and they don’t call BJ “The Prodigy” for nothing.


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