If Frankie Edgar is “The Answer”, then what is the question?
Who is going to be the next UFC Bantamweight World Champion? I don’t think that’s the answer, actually, and it’s too early for Jeopardy. That show comes on at 7:00 PM and not 7:00 AM for a reason.
Frankie is still “The Answer”, though. He always will be but that may stop with his nickname.
Nothing short of a legend in MMA and arguably one of the best fighters of all-time, the aging vet from Toms River, New Jersey is making his first-ever trip down to 135 pounds.
This is the former Lightweight UFC World Champion. That’s 155 for the layman’s.
He has always said that he didn’t really cut any weight for ‘55 which is just bonkers to me. I know how big those Lightweights are.
Many folks would agree that some of Frankie’s most memorable fights were against Grey Maynard, another strong wrestler but much more of a brute than Edgar.
Grey Maynard cut down from 190! That’s what martial arts are all about, though, the smaller man beating the bigger man.
At the highest level of sport, though, you gotta realize that you aren’t doing yourself any favors by constantly fighting bigger people.
Pedro is coming in here as a sizable favorite, though, considering Edgar has never made this cut before and the fact that he will be turning 39 in a couple of months.
I think it will be a closer fight than the line indicates.
Let’s look at the betting odds provided to us by the folks over at BetOnline.AG and make our prediction for the main event between Pedro Munhoz and Frankie Edgar.
Pedro Munhoz (-256) vs Frankie Edgar (+216)
Round Total (5dimes.eu)
Wow, I really didn’t think I would see Pedro’s line get so high but he does have power in his hands and we saw Frankie Edgar take a pretty solid TKO beating in his last fight against the Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung.
That is one of the hardest hitters at 145, though, so as long as Edgar’s chin isn’t gone from that fight, I think he will be able to take most of the shots thrown his way from the Brazilian.
If you look at this statistically on paper, it’s not even close.
Frankie Edgar is the better fighter. Here’s the thing, though. His numbers like striking rate and takedowns/15 minutes are for his entire career.
The man has some miles on that body and brain. There is no discounting that.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Frankie fight. I was already a fan of Spencer Fisher and Frankie came out there and took the veteran to school.
Frankie was the new breed of MMA fighter WAY ahead of his time. Is he still that guy, though?
The fighter who made BJ look bad… although I think BJ won the first fight but anyway.
There is the constant of this being his first time cutting down to 135 but doing it at 36 has to be somewhat easier than 39.
Edgar will have about 3.5 inches of reach on Pedro which is rather significant, especially when both fighters are standing at 5’6”.
I’m not sure how I feel about this fight being 5 rounds and who that actually favors.
Pedro is more dangerous and Frankie’s chin could be compromised already and then the massive weight cut on top of it could turn out ugly.
At the same time, how many 5-round fights has Pedro Munhoz had compared to Edgar? Off the top of my head, I’m gonna guess zero for Pedro and at least 8 for Frankie. Ten, yes, ten 5-round fights fought in his last 19 contests.
Do we do the unthinkable and question The Answer’s cardio and conditioning because it’s his first cut to 135? Man, I don’t think we can.
The betting line is off here.
I think Pedro should still be the favorite but with a significant reach disadvantage and going against a fighter with legendary footwork, he might have a hard time tracking Frankie down.
I expect a lot of movement from Edgar and plenty of jabs.
I’m a little worried about Pedro winning the kicking game here and that is a legit concern which could turn the tide of the fight.
Pedro Munhoz is a very tough test but the test isn’t impossible.
- I don’t believe Pedro wins 70% of the time like the betting odds suggest.
- I would put it more around 55-60% which give us a solid edge on the sportsbooks.
Edgar has defeated Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Jeremy Stephens, and Cub Swanson twice over the past 5 years or so. We can count those, right?
They are each somewhat similar stylistic and body type matchups as Munhoz. The first two are both short and stocky with sick guillotines to keep Edgar off their legs. Stephens and Swanson are arguably better boxers than Munhoz.
I don’t know how big Jeremy is but I have met Cub a few times and he is not a big guy. He could probably make 135 as well.
Munhoz lost his last fight badly to Aljamain Sterling but the young, lengthy, overly athletic, and quite creative Aljo isn’t really comparable to Frankie.
John Dodson beat Pedro in a decision just a couple of years ago. I realize Dodson had the speed advantage but he won by circling and jabbing, the same way Frankie strikes.
Pedro out-struck Bryan Caraway and Brett Johns. That’s not saying much. Both fighters rely quite heavily on their wrestling and Munhoz’s takedown defense is some of the best in the UFC.
Another Jersey guy, Jimmie Rivera, out-boxed Pedro about 5 years ago.
Munhoz has made a living out-striking grapplers.
He made his biggest splash when he knocked out Cody Garbrandt in the Spring of 2019. Cody definitely had a decent chance of winning that fight. I think he is the superior boxer.
Garbrandt was Garbrandt, though, and he senselessly dropped both hands and threw consecutive double hooks from the hip. Meanwhile, Munhoz, to his credit, remained calm under fire and threw the shorter smarter shots until one caught the questionable chin of Cody and that was a wrap.
Edgar will no doubt be more patient than that and I believe Pedro will have to open up if he wants the TKO and while he is comfortable doing so, it’s not really his style. He feels confident doing his thing without throwing caution to the wind.
I know Ortega and Jung TKO’ed Frankie early and that’s why we are getting favorable odds here but those guys are a clip bigger than Munhoz.
Let’s throw two units on the over.
I know I poured on the persuasion for Frankie to get the win and I definitely think he can and I do feel the betting line is off by possibly 10 percentage points of implied probability.
It’s the weight cut. Are we going to see another skeletor of a man like when TJ Dillashaw made the trip down to 125 to fight Cejudo?
Watch the weigh ins and if Frankie looks decent, I don’t see anything wrong with dropping half a unit on him. It might make the main event super exciting for ya.
There is your main event pick, guys.
I don’t really like attacking the main event and you should know that my record on main event fights isn’t as good as the rest of the card.
Main events get the most attention and many times, the betting lines are wide because dominant fighters fight in main events, I guess.
I remember making the case for Frankie against Max Holloway and that fight wasn’t really close.
Max never came close to finishing Frankie but it was a fairly easy win with the size disparity and takedown defense of Holloway.
Edgar has never lost to someone his own size, though, so there is that.
I know he’s about to be 39 but with Pedro about to turn 34, maybe these two will share a square dance for the first 17:30 of the fight or at least until our over bet hits.
Get your bets in now and enjoy the show on Saturday!