Frankie Edgar knew he wanted his retirement fight to happen at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.
Edgar last fought back at UFC 268 in November last year at MSG against Marlon Vera. He had success early on but in the third round, he suffered a KO loss. After the defeat, Edgar took some time off and this summer, he realized he wanted to fight one more time and wanted it at MSG.
“When I was thinking about getting back in there (I knew it would be my last). Last year with the way the fight went, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Edgar said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Then, this summer I started getting some consistent training and started feeling pretty good and decided I wanted to do one more. With them coming to MSG, I thought it was the perfect time.”
When Edgar told the UFC he wanted his retirement fight at UFC 281 in MSG, he made it clear he didn’t care about the opponent. Instead, Edgar said he just wanted to fight whoever the promotion gave him.
“To me, the opponent didn’t matter, I told my team to figure it out. I never pick opponents, it isn’t my thing, I just say yes,” Edgar said. “My guys were telling me this and that and I just told them to figure it out and tell me who I’m fighting and they got it done… The opponents didn’t have any barring on this fight at all to me. Name, no name, they are all good in the UFC. I have been fighting names my whole career, I just wanted to get this one in.”
The UFC ended up with Chris Gutierrez as Frankie Edgar’s final opponent who the former champ knows is dangerous. However, Edgar says his preparation is solely focused on him.
“I watch him here and there but I let Mark come up with the plan and my guys tell me what I need to worry about,” Edgar said. “But, the focus is mostly on me… Chris is an unorthodox striker and throws a lot of different strikes in his fight, I could see this fight going anywhere. I’ve been in there with just bout every style, every body type, and do my thing and be careful.”
When Edgar does make the walk to the Octagon at UFC 281 to face Gutierrez he knows it will be a special moment for him.
“It’s going to be goosebumps, last one, last time out in my backyard with a lot of my friends and family there. It’s going to be special,” Edgar explained.
Although Frankie Edgar is retiring after this fight, he plans to still go out with a bang. He knows Chris Gutierrez is dangerous on the feet, but the former champ knows his wrestling will play a role in the scrap.
The plan for Frankie Edgar is to time the takedowns effectively as well as put a high pace on the feet. If he does just that, he believes he will end his career with a win.
“It’s no secret I always look for takedowns in all my fights and this one will be no different,” Edgar said. “I just have to make sure I time my entries well and if it’s there I’m going to go for it. If we have to slug it out, I’m comfortable there as well…
“I fight hard. A lot of fights end up as Performance bonuses or Fight of the Night. I never go in there saying I’m going to fight to win a Performance bonus or fight to get a finish. I just go in there, I’m always looking for the finish, be active and whatever will be, will be,” Edgar concluded.
Do you think Frankie Edgar will beat Chris Gutierrez at UFC 281?