Frankie Edgar is calling it a career.
And what a career it was. The former lightweight champion and multi-division contender has decided to retire after his bout at Madison Square Garden this weekend.
UFC 281 will mark Edgar’s 30th UFC fight, and after 17 years in the fight game he just felt like this was the perfect time to walk away.
“I just always put 100% into what I do, I try to treat people right,” Edgar told UFC.com. “I met some great people in this game and I’m just thankful. I got to live a dream of mine and I’m very blessed.”
We caught up with a handful of UFC athletes during UFC 281 fight week to talk about Edgar and his legacy.
Here’s what they had to say:
When you say the name Frankie Edgar, I just think legend.
You got to go back to those Frankie and Gray Maynard fights when Frankie and Gray fought for the title. The determination that Frankie showed when he was hurt so badly; the equilibrium was off and that happens in fights. You might be thinking clearly but your legs aren’t working, your arms aren’t working, you don’t know which way is up or which way is down. Frankie was able to keep his composure and go out there and win.
The way that he lived behind the scenes. How he ate, how he woke up early, how he did his roadwork, how he made sure he got good sleep at night, how he supplemented.
UFC 281 FREE FIGHTS: Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2 | Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje | Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas 2 | Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa | Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson | Alex Pereira vs Sean Strickland
Frankie is a living legend. Frankie is a first ballot no-brainer Hall of Famer and I’m proud to call him a friend and I’m proud to share this card with him if it’s his farewell fight.
Frankie is just an absolute animal, heart of a champion, tough New Jersey boy, and the sport of mixed martial arts was better with him in it and the sport of mixed martial arts will shed a tear when he leaves.
Legend. He’s an absolute legend and he’s been around a long time.
He’s a small guy in the lightweight division, taking out bigger guys, and that’s what I plan on doing right now. There’s even proof out there that it can happen.
He’s shown you what can be done with the right mindset and the right skill and when Frankie was in his prime, he was taking out everybody. He’s an absolute legend. Nothing but respect for the guy and I wish him the best.
Hall of Famer. A guy fighting lions who is not a big guy.
I bumped into Frankie Edgar in the hallways, and I was a bit star struck. I had to go up to him and say, “big fan, big fan.”
For what he did as the lightweight champion and his battles with Gray Maynard were incredible. I have been watching Frankie his entire UFC career and I feel like a bit of a Frankie Edgar nerd so it’s very cool to be on the same card as perhaps his last fight. It’s exciting to be a part of that moment.
Just being an absolute ganger getting in there fighting at high weights and not cutting weights then dropping down weights running through divisions. A real pioneer of the sport.
We always steal all his moves in his gym, and we based some of our stuff off of him because that’s how good he is.
He’ll be sorely missed, and he’s had a brilliant career and we wish him the best in retirement.
He accomplished all the goals and the missions that he set for his life. I’m sure and he has a beautiful family and he was a former champion, so I wish all the best for him in his retirement.
First thing I think about is Jersey. He was one of the first big known names in the UFC from New Jersey and I feel like he held it down for the state for a long time and still is.
My Dad has always been a big UFC fan, even before like I trained or anything, so whenever Frankie would be fighting, he would be like, “Oh, come watch it, he’s from Jersey.”