Frank Edgar proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the best Lightweight in the world. For now, at least. He does have one loss on his record and it just so happens to be the guy that he will be fighting next for his newly defended Lightweight title. As far as this fight goes, it was the same fight as the last time. Except in this one Penn wasn't landing strong counter shots. He was getting outclassed in every aspect of the fight.
BJ came out strong and aggressive landing a few early punches. Edgar made him pay for it with a big takedown. Penn went for the sweep but it wasn't there. He worked butterfly guard with Frankie trying to pass but being unable to do so. Once he got back to standing we saw the implementation of the exact same gameplan that he had at UFC 112. A ton of movement and bouncing in and out. The round ended with Penn having had to have lost confidence in what he could do.
Penn comes out throwing kicks in the second to try to soften up Edgar a little bit and stifle his movement. No dice. Frank Edgar moves around more than any fighter I've ever seen. He just would not stand still for any amount of time. Penn did not have a clue as to what to do about it. We've seen this before a few months ago. Speed is such an overlooked factor in mixed martial arts. Edgar is bringing it to the forefront. He gets another takedown and he's in total control after two.
Not getting tired in any way, Edgar is out with more movement. He wasn't dealing a lot of damage but it was effective. Penn just could not get his timing down. Nothing he was doing was stopping Edgar from implementing his game. Frankie was coming in more and landing even better than the first go round. Even when they went up against the cage Edgar was landing short elbows that had to have an effect on Penn. He looked totally disheartened at the end of the round.
In the 4th round Penn finally decided to get aggressive with his takedowns. He got Edgar to the floor and even had full mount for a short time but Edgar did an amazing job of getting right back to his feet and escaping out from underneath him. I don't know that I've ever seen another fighter, outside of Georges St. Pierre, do this to BJ Penn. He no longer looked like he wanted to be there. Like he knew there was nothing he could do to win. Edgar kicked his leg out from under him after they went back to standing and that had to just put the cherry on top. Penn look demoralized.
The final round saw some action on the mat with Penn getting a little more aggressive but it was yet again to no avail. The first fight was no fluke. Frank Edgar is a better fighter than BJ Penn. We know that now. He never did get a finish but even with the two decisions this feels final. There is no reason in my mind to have a third match between these two. Penn will have to go back and look at what he wants to do next. All the talk of a hungry and motivated BJ means nothing now.
As far as where Edgar goes from here, we know that. He gets to try to avenge his loss to Gray Maynard. I'll be the first one to say it. Frank should enjoy his title now because he wont' have it for long. Just the same as Edgar is the kryptonite to Penn, Maynard is the kryptonite to Edgar. He has the exact kind of top control and strong wrestling to hold Edgar down, the way BJ couldn't, and ride to a decision. He will bully him to the title. Fans won't like it but that's what's going to happen. Tonight, though, Edgar is the better man and still the champion at 155lbs. As hard as that is to believe, it's true.