Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn have a long and storied history in the UFC, dating back to when the two first met in April of 2010. UFC 112 played host to Penn’s Lightweight title defense against Edgar, in a fight where ‘The Answer’ was a heavy underdog.
Penn lost the decision, along with his 155 strap, and Edgar would go on to decision Penn once again in their UFC 118 rematch. Since then, Penn has earned only one win; a 21 second KO of Matt Hughes at UFC 123. After fighting to a draw with Jon Fitch, BJ dropped decisions to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald and has been inactive in 2013.
Edgar fought to a draw with Gray Maynard after the second Penn fight, knocking him out in the rematch and then lost to Benson Henderson twice and Jose Aldo. The drop to Featherweight hasn’t been all bad for Edgar, who scored a UD victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 162.
The news that Penn and Edgar will be opposing coaches on TUF 19 came as quite surprising, but interesting none the less. Penn drops to FW, for the first time in his career, and will surely have to be in great shape to do so.
Edgar recently appeared on UFC Tonight, and spoke about the 2014 showdown with The Prodigy:
"I do think I have his number, every fight is different. I'm going to approach this as a new challenge. I'm not thinking he's going to come in the same as he did the last two. I expect him to come in and change a little. I want to show my improvement over the last three years. I think he was kind of close to retirement and I think another loss will maybe decide it for him."
Penn is certainly the one to watch in this scrap, mainly because he is the unknown factor in the equation. We really don’t know how his training or conditioning has been during his time off, or how he will perform at 145.
Penn was always fast, even at Lightweight, so maybe he will be able to match the pace of Edgar this time around. One thing Penn has lacked in the past is discipline in training, quite often showing up flabby and out of shape.
If he wants to continue his illustrious career, Penn will really have to focus himself on this. Edgar is gathering speed again and anything less than 100 percent will not cut it.