Road to UFC 205: Frankie Edgar Prepares for Madison Square Garden
For the last few weeks, we've been highlighting how Toms River native Frankie Edgar has been keeping it local in preparation for one of the biggest mixed martial arts events in recent memory, UFC 205. With the card just days away, we finish our series by focusing on Edgar's thoughts preceding this historic event.
While undergoing preventative treatment at Atlantic Physical Therapy in Toms River, Edgar was relaxed, but extremely focused on the task at hand. 'You're only as good as your last fight and my last fight didn't turn out as good as I wanted it to.'
'The Answer' was referring to his most recent bout at UFC 200, when he lost his chance at the UFC interim featherweight title via unanimous decision to Jose Aldo, snapping a five-fight win streak. 'I need to rebound and no better place to do it than the world's most famous arena, MSG. It's nice to be in our backyard and put a show on for our fans'.
'It's nice to be in our backyard and put a show on for our fans.'
Of course, there is one man standing in the way of Edgar's rebound: UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens. Edgar knows this will not be an easy fight. 'He's a heavy-handed guy, he likes to put guys away. I'm not gonna have to look for him. He's gonna meet me in the center and we're gonna get it on'
Despite the challenge, it is clear that Edgar is not intimidated. 'I'm the more well-rounded fighter, I'm gonna dictate the pace and really put it to him.' When asked for his official prediction, Edgar was clear, 'I'm definitely getting my hand raised. I want to finish it before the 3rd round'.
Win or lose, Edgar will bear witness to a stacked card following his fight, which is headlined by 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, current UFC Lightweight Champion and training partner of Frankie's for the past 10 years. 'This is a big fight for both of us,' Edgar acknowledged.
And on Alvarez's opponent, the outspoken McGregor, Edgar concedes that the Irishman's volatile personality is a mixed bag. 'He's been bringing a lot of attention to the sport, a lot of money to the sport. It's a good thing for just getting the sport into the mainstream, but having to listen to him is tough sometimes,' he chuckled.
With the unpredictability of the fight game, it's hard to map out a future, but Edgar has a vision: 'I just want to fight big fights. I want to fight the best guys and the biggest names'.
Training 2-3 times a day, 6 days a week, Edgar has been preparing for UFC 205 like a man who knows what it takes to win. While receiving treatment at Atlantic Physical Therapy's Toms River location, Shore Sports Network Director Kevin Williams and I had the opportunity to speak with Edgar about this historic event.
Watch the final installment of our three-part series:
We will get 'The Answer' to the Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephans question this Saturday night, live from Madison Square Garden. You can watch this prelim fight on FS1 beginning at 8PM EST.