UFC Fight Night takeaways – Who’s Next for Frankie Edgar? Which transfer was the most impressive?

It was a night of upsets and comebacks, but most of all, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night was a showcase for a 38-year-old veteran who proved he hadn’t done it yet.

Frankie Edgar won a split decision over Pedro Munhoz in his bantamweight debut. Should Edgar have dropped to bantam weight sooner than many have suggested? Maybe, but for now, the discussion is about who is next for Edgar and for the heavy loser Munhoz, who some thought deserved the decision.

Earlier in the evening, Shana Dobson scored the third biggest upset in UFC history with a second-round TKO by Mariya Agapova after she entered the fight as a +850 betting underdog. Trevin Jones opened the night as a +425 underdog, and after being dominated in the first round, his chances of winning seem even further. But Jones made an incredible comeback to pull off the win. Which transfer was more impressive?

ESPN’s panel of Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Phil Murphy look at the winners, losers and the ups and downs.

The right fit for Edgar

The only thing I stuck to fighting that fight was: Mark Henry was right; Mark Henry was oh, so right.

Henry, Edgar’s longtime boxing coach / head coach, told me and all the other media members for years that Edgar had to move to 135. And this was before Edgar moved to 145. But Edgar was always hesitant for some reason. Heck, he would even go crazy if you asked him about it later in his career. (Because he was asked about it so often.) But think what? Henry was right. This is without a doubt the best weight class for Edgar at this point in his career, and I can not help but wonder where he would be if he went down earlier.

Well, I should mention that I thought Munhoz won 48-47, but believe it or not, that feels like there’s near the point. Edgar was the story on Saturday night. He looked fast, sharp and tough. Did he hit a lot? Yes. A lot. But for a man who lost three of four on Saturday, including two KO / TKO losses, Edgar proved he is still a player and, perhaps more importantly, still able to take a punch.

I feel for Munhoz because he fought bravely, but these are the breaks. Edgar, with that Jersey chip on his shoulder, reminded everyone that he’s not done yet. And that was pretty cool to see, considering the legend he is. You would be hard pressed to find someone who will say anything bad about Edgar. One of the really good guys of the sport has one more action left in him, and I’m envious to see how this plays out.

Now, who should I talk to, to fight Edgar following Dominick Cruz? How much fun would that be?

– Helwani

Who’s next for Edgar?

Sean O’Malley would be the perfect opponent. Yes, technically, O’Malley is ranked lower than Munhoz and suffered a loss to Marlon Vera last week. Nice. But O’Malley is one of the hottest names in the division, someone much peg as a future star. A win for both men in an Edgar vs. O’Malley game would be incredibly valuable. It would be a high-profile Fight Fight Night event – without a doubt. Or even a pay-per-view co-headliner, like O’Malley was at UFC 252. For O’Malley, it would be a chance to win a victory over a legend in Edgar and a litmus test against someone incredibly tough -minded and durable. Edgar also has excellent wrestling skills, something O’Malley has yet to see a ton.

What’s up with Edgar? It’s another chance to beat a whole prospect, like he did against Yair Rodriguez in 2017. O’Malley presents some stylistic advantages for Edgar that some in the entire elite would not at bantamweight. And if Edgar wins a second run at bantamweight, you know with his name that he would be equal in the mix up to and including conversations about title-shot. The matchup would be perfect for the UFC. You help build a brand new star or help improve the lore of a future Hall of Famer.


What’s next for Munhoz?

Frustration, I have to believe. It was there just before Munhoz. It looked like he started taking control in the third round. Everything was in his favor. Edgar’s lead leg looked compromised. He went to the fourth and fifth rounds, against an older opponent. The fight was in the smaller Octagon, which favors Munhoz’s forward style over Edgar’s in-and-out. It was all in Munhoz’s favor – and then a legend of the sport found a way to pull it off via split decision.

Munhoz is very, very talented, but he loses a lot of momentum from this. I think next up is just plain … next up. Cody Stamann made his. Stamann is ranked and comes from a loss to Jimmie Rivera. That’s a good fight. But it’s not a fight that will make people really excited, which of course is what Munhoz had hoped to get out of a main event slot against a former champion.


Who had the most impressive turnout?

It’s rare for underdogs to win as hard as Trevin Jones (+425) and Shana Dobson (+800) in the same month, let alone on the same card. According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, multiple underdogs of +400 or higher have not won at the same UFC event since it began tracking this data reliably in 2007.

While Dobson had longer odds, I found Jones’ rise more impressive.

Dobson, 31, found holes in Mariya Agapova’s attacks in the first round, getting the 23-year-old twice on her back and working once after an arm injury. Dobson’s tank, toughness and toughness won that fight.

Jones, meanwhile, was brutalized in the first round, absorbing heavy kicks with such regularity that each judge scored the opening stanza 10-8 against him. Timur Valiev opened the second round with more kicks on the body and head. Jones awaited adept on the chance to throw what proved a decisive counter right hook.

No amount of cardio problems for the favorite can explain Jones’ knockout. It was a perfectly timed – and perfectly placed – punch, and it absolutely came out of nowhere.


Which perspective turned in the best preform?

Amanda Lemos dropped halfway from 135 pounds to 115 pounds, and the change pays enormous dividends.

The Brazilian has won two draws, and she looked extremely fast and strong against Mizuki Inoue on Saturday. Lemos also has the kind of doll in her hands that is not often seen at 115 pounds. She is 33 years old, but with only nine career fights, the future looks very bright for the difficult “Amandinha.”