Kendrick Johnson writes for a daily newspaper and is an independent print journalist and sports television reporter who has covered the NBA Finals, championship boxing and UFC Fights. He has also conducted numerous interviews with some of the biggest names and personalities in sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kendrickjohnso
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar made it clear by stopping a hapless B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn in the third round, Penn’s best days as a fighter are behind him.
Widely considered the best lightweight of all time, Penn (16-10-2) announced his retirement following the TKO loss to Edgar “The Ultimate Fighter” finale.
“This is the end,” a dejected Penn said at a post-fight press conference. “It takes a high energy guy to beat the elite fighters and I’m not that guy anymore. If I didn’t make this night happen, I would have always wondered. I would have complained to everyone, I could have done it again! I could have done it again! Now, I know for sure that I can’t.”
Edgar used good in-and-out boxing to land 159 strikes along with great ground and pound to beat the former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion of the World for a third time. Edgar’s domination over Penn in the main event even struck a chord with UFC President Dana White.
“B.J. Penn built the 155 pound division and is one of the men to help build the UFC, that’s his legacy,” a somber White said. “Fighting is a young man’s sport and I look forward to watching him run the UFC B.J. Penn gyms.”
Penn didn’t engage much as he stood flat footed in front of Edgar for most of the fight allowing him to be taken down at least once each round. Edgar routinely beat him to the punch much like Penn did with his opponents in his prime.
“It was a bittersweet victory. I said I wanted to finish him, but I almost feel sad about it,” Edgar said. “When I first got here in the UFC B.J. was the guy, but tonight I came in knowing I was the man and I was supposed to win the fight. B.J. is forever going to be a part of my career and everyone currently in the UFC owes him a lot for paving the way for all of us.”
Edgar’s dominate performance has his name right back in the mix for the UFC featherweight championship. With the 145-pound weight class champion Jose Aldo currently on the shelf, post-fight speculation centered on Edgar fighting Chad Mendes who was scheduled to fight Aldo next month before the injury.
“I want to fight for the title or a fight that gets me to the title,” Edgar said.
In the TUF middleweight title fight, Eddie Gordon was aggressive from the start and stunned Dhiego Lima with a series of strikes in the opening seconds of the fight. Lima found himself on the mat and after a series of lefts, the fight was halted at 1minute, 11 seconds into the bout as Gordon secured the TKO win.
“I’ve thought of this moment over and over, it came in the exact way,” a very excited Gordon said. This win is not only for me, it is a win dedicated to my coaches, my family, my teammates and all the people that are behind me. So it was awesome.”
In the TUF light heavyweight title fight, Corey Anderson needed even less time to TKO Matt Van Buren. A series of combinations by Anderson sent Van Buren reeling as the fight was stopped at 1:01 of the first round.
Gordon and Anderson each received UFC contracts and a motorcycle for their respective victories.