While Frankie Edgar has had a career fitting of legend status inside the Octagon, it initially looked like he’d missed out on the chance to fight on MMA’s biggest stage.
And in an apt conclusion to his career, which has included a championship reign at lightweight and two challenges for the undisputed featherweight gold, “The Answer” will have his final outing inside the prestigious surroundings of Madison Square Garden.
There, Edgar will meet the in-form Chris Gutierrez on the pay-per-view main card. While the 41-year-old will be looking to close out the in-cage chapter of his life with a final triumph, “El Guapo” will look to spoil those plans by adding an eighth fight to his unbeaten streak.
Having spent 15 years competing in the UFC, Edgar understandably has a lot to reminisce on as he approaches his final walk to the Octagon. That includes his title-winning performance against B.J. Penn, his trilogy with Gray Maynard, and his time sharing the cage with greats like José Aldo, Max Holloway, and Urijah Faber.
But despite his incredible success in the sport, his first UFC memory wasn’t exactly positive…
Edgar: “I Never Got The Call Back…”
During a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, Edgar reflected on some of the notable and important moments of his career, including his initially failed attempted to forge a path to the Octagon.
After building a 5-0 record on the regional scene, Edgar tried out for the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, staking his claim in front of UFC President Dana White and then-matchmaker Joe Silva.
Despite feeling the process had gone well, Edgar didn’t receive the confirmation call he was expecting.
“I was bummed. When I went there, I was so positive. I don’t know why. I was like, ‘I’m making the show.’ In my mind, I was like, ‘I made it.’ Even before I went,” Edgar said. “Then when I did the padwork, met the people, I was like, ‘Oh sh*t, I’m getting picked!’ And then I remember coming home and one of my buddies who I was with, he got a call back to go to Vegas, and I never got that call back.”
Not one to give up, “The Answer” returned to work and re-committed himself to impressing on the local MMA scene. As it turned out, that wasn’t required. Just a month after his TUF rejection, Edgar was offered a fight against Tyson Griffin at UFC 67.
“I waited a couple days. I was like, ‘Damn.’ I’m not one to sulk on my sorrows, so I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll go back to work.’ I was a plumber at the time, so I’m like, ‘We’ll just keep fighting locally and hopefully get picked up.’ Couple months later, I got that call,” Edgar explained.
After getting the unexpected call-up, Edgar certainly made the most of it, earning a unanimous decision win over Griffin in a bout that was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
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