After months of hard work and dedication preparing for an opponent, win or lose a fighter typically comes away with some sense of relief knowing he’s done his best regardless of outcome and can move on to the next opponent. However, when a Draw comes into play a bitter aftertaste is often left without the same sort of closure a definitive outcome brings.
Such was the case with UFC lightweight champ Frank Edgar who held on to consciousness against Gray Maynard earlier this year only to overcome the early damage and work his way back into retaining the title by a thread. However, even the gold around his waist didn’t satisfy the hunger in his belly.
“I was just super disappointed,” explained Edgar in an interview with the UFC’s website. “It was a draw and I was still the champ, but it felt like a loss to me. I hate losing. And I don’t think I really took into consideration the performance I put on after going through what I did in the first round, so I was proud of what I was able to do and how I was able to bounce back, but I didn’t win a fight. I may not have lost, but I didn’t win, and that’s always my main objective and the most important thing.”
He also knows there are other contenders laying in wait for a shot at the title he expects to hold onto this weekend when he and Maynard mix it up at UFC 136 but is only focused on the task at hand rather than what the future might hold.
“You can’t help but notice the guys that are creeping on the door, but I try to not get distracted by that. There’s always gonna be the next guy. No matter what I do, whether I win or I don’t, there’s always gonna be the next guy. I’ll worry about Gray and take it from there.”
Knowing there will always be someone out there trying to take his top ranking in the division is a significant part of what motivates the New Jersey native who turns 30 a week after his defense this weekend.
“It makes me nervous more than anything,” he playfully responded. “It makes me want to get up and train. I don’t get a bigger head from it; if anything, I get more nervous about getting knocked off, I guess. But it’s more motivation for me. Some people, I think once they get there they relax and that’s why they don’t stay there. For me, I’m definitely on my toes at all times.”
And that’s where he’ll hope to remain this Saturday night in Houston – on his toes, or feet more exactly – while holding on to his spot and the golden glory coming with it.
Fans can catch Edgar’s fight with Maynard as the PPV headliner with the show starting at 9:00 PM EST. Preliminary pairings will air/stream through Spike TV and Facebook in the hours preceding the event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC