UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar checks in with his first of three blogs leading up to his UFC 125 title defense against Gray Maynard
We’re getting closer to the fight with Gray Maynard on January 1st, and just finished up another good week in camp. I got back on Sunday from Ricardo Almeida’s fight in Montreal and got right back into things on Monday. I went up to Phil Nurse’s in the city in the morning, and then I went over to Renzo’s and took John Danaher’s class, and Renzo was there as well. Then I shot over to Toms River and finished with strength and conditioning. That’s what a typical day is like in camp - I’m always on the road. The city’s the farthest I go, though I still go up to Hamilton to Ricardo’s academy, which is like an hour away.
It was nice to break up camp a little bit with Ricardo’s fight, and he beat a tough guy in TJ Grant at UFC 124. I think Ricardo has fought his last three fights two or three weeks before my fights and I like it. I like the fact that I get to go and take the whole UFC event in without having to fight. It kinda gets me prepared for what’s to come.
And as far as breaking camp to work his corner, that’s just how we roll. I know he’s gonna be in the corner for me and he’s my teammate, so we sacrifice for each other. When he sacrifices for me, that’s the least I could do for him. It’s funny, but I had people asking me, ‘you’re the champ, why are you carrying someone else’s gear?’ But I’m real. I feel like I’m a working class fighter, and that’s what a working class guy would do. And it’s the least I can do – if anything, I feel honored to carry his stuff from the cage because I know he would do it for me.
While in Montreal I got to see the commercial for my fight on the big screen, and when they called me the best lightweight in the world, it was great to hear that and to finally get that recognition. It definitely adds a little pressure to the next fight for sure, but you have to use that pressure as motivation more than anything. Ever since the second fight with BJ, I feel like I’m getting a little more love, and I’m enjoying it, but as long as my family and teammates treat me the same, then it’s all good no matter what happens.
You can’t get too caught up in what people are saying though, because I’ve got a big fight in front of me. And I can’t really look at it as revenge; I’m just looking at this as my next fight, and I need to defend my belt against a tough opponent. It just so happens that he beat me and a win would be a perk of the job.
Our first fight was almost three years ago, and I watch it a little bit, but I think we’re two different fighters. I watch more of Gray’s recent stuff, but I’ve definitely sat down with my team and reviewed it somewhat.
One thing a lot of people don’t remember from around that fight is that I was the first person from the Jersey shore on MTV because they had me on ‘True Life’ even before the Situation and Snooki made it big. A lot of people ask me about ‘The Jersey Shore,’ and the first season I didn’t watch too much, but the second season I started watching it, and it’s pretty entertaining. I literally live over the bridge from where they film it and that’s not acting – there are people like that.
But back to the first fight with Gray. They were filming the ‘True Life’ episode for MTV and I was getting married ten days after the fight, but I’m not a big excuse guy. He was just better than me that night. If anything, I would blame the loss on my technical skills at the time or my gameplan, stuff like that. And when it came to the altitude in Colorado that night, I thought I felt fine. It was definitely one of my fights where I didn’t have the same energy levels, but I wouldn’t say it was the altitude. When things aren’t going your way, sometime you feel a little more tired than normal.
That was a long time ago though and we’ve both gotten better, so I think this is going to be a great fight on January 1st. Christmas is coming up on Saturday, but it’s still time to work, so this week I’ll go hard, and I go hard right until I get into Vegas. My body’s always pretty healthy, so I don’t really tone it down too much and being that I don’t really have to cut weight, my body doesn’t take too much of a beating. But before you ask, that doesn’t mean I’m leaving the lightweight division anytime soon. There are definitely enough challenges at ’55 for me and being that the WEC got acquired by the UFC, there are a lot of interesting opportunities ahead for me, so we’ll see what happens.
Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for the support. I’ll see you back here on fight week.
For more information on Frankie Edgar, follow him on Twitter @FrankieEdgar