No matter how many fights he wins, the questions linger.
MMA Nation caught up with UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at the UFC 136 open workouts. Edgar is set to face Gray Maynard for the third time in his career and will be defending his UFC lightweight title in the process. As Edgar told the media today, he hopes to not only defend his title but also pick up his first win against the lightweight fighter from Las Vegas. In their two previous meetings, he's lost and drawn.
For the past two years, Edgar has had to focus on only two opponents in B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard. There are questions regarding if there is a benefit to being able to focus on and prepare for one fighter over an extended period of time. Edgar's responded saying, "having to fight the same guy twice has brought the best out of myself. It's forced me to come up with I wouldn't say a different style but just making sure I have a repeat performance and an even better performance."
"Camp is what it is, man" Edgar said. "It's never easy. Whether it's a new guy or the same guy. If anything maybe the same guy is a little more challenging because you have to come up with a new game plan."
The champion also weighed-in on whether he believes Maynard would make changes to his game plan for this third and final meeting. "I'm sure he's gonna change some things up," said the champion. "I'm sure he's gonna try and hit me with a big shot. I think a little more takedowns. Who knows, man? It's a guessing games."
It's the doubt that Edgar seemingly can't escape. If it's not about his chances or his performance, it's about his future.
Edgar also spoke about the belief that many fans and pundits share that his optimal weight class may be at featherweight. He was candid in saying, "I think me having the belt proves I belong at lightweight. I think it definitely erased some doubt in some peoples mind. I fought one of the biggest guys in the class, took his best, and was able to bounce back."
If Edgar can get by Maynard in their third meeting, however, that may only raise the clamoring for Edgar to face an elite featherweight. Most notably, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. First things first, though: a third fight with Maynard this Saturday. Whether or not he faces Aldo or another elite lightweight next, no one knows. But one thing is for sure: Edgar, slowly but surely, is silencing the doubts and erasing the questions.