At the end of three rounds, Frank “The Answer” Edgar found himself on the wrong side of a unanimous decision to Gray Maynard. Armed with his size and his wrestling, Maynard bullied the 7-0 Edgar, dictating every aspect of the lightweight bout.

Just over one year later, Edgar finds himself up against yet another solid wrestler, but he does not plan on being bullied again.

Edgar will fight Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk on May 23 at UFC 98.

Edgar and Sherk are coming off impressive decision victories over Hermes Franca and Tyson Griffin respectively. Both plan on extending their win streak to two victories and taking another step towards title contention.

Sherk (30-3-1) is considered by many to be on his way back to a title shot with B.J. Penn. Edgar (9-1-0) seeks to take his place on the list of contenders.

A victory over “The Muscle Shark” is never going to be gained with ease however. Sherk has lost just three times in his UFC career against such extraordinary fighters as Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, and most recently B.J. Penn. Edgar looks to add a loss to Sherk’s record and would be honored to become the fourth man on that impressive list.

Both fighters seek to continue their runs at a title shot. Frank Edgar is going to need an answer for Sean Sherk who continues his climb to the top of the lightweight division.

Edgar was bullied around by Gray Maynard, so fans have to be wondering if he will be muscled around by Sean Sherk. Will Sean Sherk simply be too much for Frank Edgar? Or will Frank Edgar shine in this lightweight fight?

The only certainty for this 155-pound bout is that it has Fight of the Night written all over it.

Finding time in his hectic schedule, Frank Edgar took the time to respond to several questions regarding his upcoming bout with former lightweight champion Sean Sherk.

The full interview transcript is available below. Whether or not he feels comfortable going to the judges against Sherk, the benefits he gains from coaching at Rutgers University, and his thoughts on his future in the lightweight division can all be uncovered in this interview with UFC lightweight fighter Frank “The Answer” Edgar.


Nate Lawson:

You are set to fight Sean Sherk at UFC 98. What are your thoughts on fighting such a high-profile mixed martial artist?

Frank Edgar:

It is a great opportunity for me. Sean is obviously one of the best in the lightweight division. He is a former lightweight champ. It’s just going to be a perfect time to show if I belong or not.

Nate Lawson:

What have you specifically been focusing on during training for this fight?

Frank Edgar:

I just focus on everything. Watching Sean prepare for the fight it shows that he has great stand up, as well as his strong wrestling base. I have been training my jiu-jitsu, my wrestling, and my boxing pretty evenly.

Nate Lawson:

Sherk has only lost three times in his career. How big would it be to your career to be the fourth man to beat him, alongside Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, and B.J. Penn?



Frank Edgar:

I mean that would be huge. Like you said, he has only lost to the absolute best. If I am able to put a loss on his record and have my name under those guys’ names, you can’t ask for anything else.

Nate Lawson:

You had a decorated career as a wrestler throughout high school and college, yet against Gray Maynard seemed to take control of the wrestling. What went wrong in that fight and how have you fixed those problems?

Frank Edgar:

With Gray, he was a pretty big guy. He does have great wrestling himself. I just felt that I was kind of an easy target for him. He had me worrying about the take down a little too much, then he would surprise me with the hands, and the take down was a little bit easier than I should have made for him.

Nate Lawson:

How do you plan on defending against the wrestling of Sean Sherk?

Frank Edgar:

I just have to move. I have to keep fast feet and constantly be putting pressure on him. Have him worry about everything that I am going to do.

Nate Lawson:

Of your last seven fights, you have gone to the judges’ scorecards six times. What makes you so comfortable with letting the fight go to a decision?

Frank Edgar:

I don’t plan on going to the outcome. I just think some of the guys I have fought are just pretty good dudes. I think most of the guys I have fought have not really been stopped before, so it’s not like I’m the only one not stopping them.

Nate Lawson:

Would you be comfortable going three rounds with Sean Sherk? Or do you feel like you need to finish this fight early?

Frank Edgar:

I would absolutely love to finish this fight early if that is possible. Sean is obviously a tough, tough dude. I know that’s going to be a tough feat to do, but it would be advantageous for me to try to stop it within the three rounds. The person that he is, he’s definitely going to have more clout on his side in the judge’s eyes.

Nate Lawson:

What would the repercussions of a loss be to your career at this point? How far would that set you back?

Frank Edgar:

I don’t know. It’s up to the UFC. I just worry about fighting. I can’t really dwell on what is going to happen if I lose. I am just trying to focus on the fight itself.

Nate Lawson:

If you win, you will just have defeated Hermes Franca and Sean Sherk. That has to put you close to being a contender, don’t you think?

Frank Edgar:

I mean it can’t hurt. I do feel that Sean is on his way back to a possible title shot. If it works like that, and I beat him, I take his spot. That would be great. We’ll just see what happens.

Nate Lawson:

I know the UFC has the final decision, but is there anyone you really want to fight in your next bout if you win this fight?

Frank Edgar:

I wouldn’t say any name in particular, but if I do win this fight, I would have to say (I would want to fight) whoever is next in line for me to work my way to the title.

Nate Lawson:

How has your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu improved under Ricardo Almeida recently?

Frank Edgar:

I’m a lot better. I always had pretty good submission defense and I’m a pretty good athlete, so I have been able to roll with pretty high-level guys. Now I have more of a purpose in my attacking and my jiu-jitsu.

Nate Lawson:

Do you plan on using that jiu-jitsu a lot in this fight?

Frank Edgar:

We’ll see what happens. If I end up on my back, that’s all jiu-jitsu. There’s definitely a good possibility that Sean is going to put me there. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

Nate Lawson:

What other coaches have really helped you prepare for this fight?

Frank Edgar:

My boxing coach Mark Henry. The guys at Rutgers University. I’m a part time assistant coach up there. Being able to wrestle with young college guys is always good.

Nate Lawson:

How has being a coach there helped your game in particular?

Frank Edgar:

When you coach, you see things a lot differently. You take a step back and you see things that you might not do, and you realize maybe I need to start doing that myself. Coaching always helps you in every aspect of the game, whether your coaching jiu-jitsu, coaching boxing, or coaching wrestling.

Nate Lawson:

Thanks for taking the time to sit down before your fight with Sherk and I wish you the best of luck.

Frank Edgar:

No problem man. Thanks a lot.




The Original article can be found at Insidefights.com.

http://insidefights.com/2009/05/17/i...frankie-edgar/