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14th May 2017

Everything about Frankie Edgar’s knockout victory shows he’s one of the greatest ever

"None of this means shit, man."

Ben Kiely

The world needs more Frankie Edgars.

You think you know true humility and sportsmanship, until you see how former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar carries himself.

When he wins, it’s always ‘we, we, we,’ but when he loses, he only has himself to blame.

He put that interim title loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 200 down to his inability to make adjustments in the fight. In all the interviews he’s conducted since, he credited the Brazilian for his stunning performance and thanked his team for what they had prepared him for during fight camp, but when he sat back and assessed what went wrong he always falls on the same answer.

Since that devastating loss, he’s racked up two-straight wins. The first was a classic back-from-the-brink emphatic decision over knockout monster Jeremy Stephens. Then, at UFC 211, fans were blessed with a different kind of vintage Edgar show, as he mauled his way past streaking starlet Yair Rodriguez.

All it took was one takedown and a few strikes short of a century, but in the end, the wrestler-boxer ground out the TKO victory in the second round. He pummeled the youngster’s eye to the point where the referee had to step in and end the fight.

While he was a bully in the fight, he didn’t adopt this mentality for the Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. He threatened to do so in a humorous manner, but there was a sadness about him when he took hold of the mic that couldn’t be ignored.

“TR, NJ, all fucking day. I want to cut a promo… nah, I love you Texas.”

He didn’t waste the airtime. Rather than use some hackneyed trash talk to try to sucker someone into fighting him, he wanted to highlight what was really important. He dedicated the win to his long-time friend and training partner Nick Catone, who’s infant son passed away Thursday.

“No, I want to cut a promo and thank my coaches, but I’ve got to send a heartfelt message out to my teammate Nick Catone and his wife, Marjorie. They woke up on Thursday and their infant son, little Nicholas, passed away in the night.”

“So this shows that none of this means shit, man. I want to go home an hug my kids. I eh… I can;t imagine what he’s going through and that one’s for you.”

Edgar’s the definitive gentleman-fighter, and there’s no doubt about the order of those words.

While he will instinctively break your will on the mat or render you unconscious with his fists, that part of him only gets drawn out of him once that cage door closes shut. From round one to the final buzzer, he’s a relentless animal on the hunt for the kill, but outside of all that, he’s just a good dude.

Grounded, mannerly, humble and there is nothing clouded about his priorities. A diamond like Edgar in this rough sport needs to be treasured. He’s part of a dying breed.