MMA Record: 22-6-1
UFC Record: 16-6-1
Notable Wins: Yair Rodriguez, Jim Miller, BJ Penn, Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes, Jeremy Stephens, Urijah Faber
Notable Losses: Brian Ortega, Jose Aldo, Benson Henderson
Last Fight: KO loss to Brian Ortega
Fighter Profile: One of the sport’s all-time greatest lightweights and featherweights, Edgar is still at the top of his game despite a recent KO loss to Ortega at UFC 222. Edgar has beaten a who’s who at both 155 and 145 and continues to be a top contender even in his last 30s. His wrestling ability is top notch, he has excellent boxing, great cardio and a solid chin, even despite the loss to Ortega. It’s fair to say Edgar may be on the decline considering what happened to him in his last fight, but even a declining Edgar is still a formidable opponent for anyone in his division. He took this fight shortly after losing to Ortega and that has left some to question whether or not he made a good choice, but if he can rebound from that loss and get a win in this fight he’ll be well back on his way to another title shot.
MMA Record: 25-8
UFC Record: 10-4
Notable Wins: Jeremy Stephens, Dustin Poirier, Doo Ho Choi
Notable Losses: Brian Ortega, Ricardo Lamas, Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Max Holloway
Last Fight: Submission loss to Brian Ortega
Fighter Profile: Swanson has long been one of the top featherweights in the UFC, someone capable of always putting on a good fight for the fans. The American has excellent boxing and possesses the knockout power capable of finishing his opponents. He also has a very good gas tanks, a solid chin, and at times underrated grappling. The biggest problem with Swanson is he can’t win the big one. He’s beaten a list of decent opponents, but usually he falls when he steps up in competition. Now armed with a new UFC contract after bypassing free agency, it will be interesting to see how Swanson looks in this fight against Edgar, and whether or not he has what it takes to make another run for the title after failing in his last bid to get to the top of the division.
Fight Breakdown: I see this fight playing out similarly to the pair’s first bout. Even with Swanson’s improvements in his takedown defense, I just feel like Edgar’s wrestling is going to be too strong once again. I see him landing key takedowns to seal rounds in the eyes of the judges, doing some damage with ground-and-pound along the way. In the last fight it took Edgar almost the full five rounds to get the finish. This time around, he only has three rounds to get the finish and knowing how durable Swanson is, I feel like a decision for Edgar is the most likely method of victory. Considering Edgar’s recent KO loss, I am not totally discounting that Swanson could land a knockout blow, but more times than not I think Edgar’s wrestling wins out and he takes the decision.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar via decision