Frankie Edgar, refusing to believe he lost the UFC lightweight championship to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 last February, is showing a side rarely seen in public. The humble, soft-spoken kid from Toms River, N.J., has been outspoken in these last couple of weeks leading up to his highly-anticipated rematch Saturday at UFC 150 in Denver.
During an interview with the UFC, Edgar all but guaranteed he'd have an answer for Henderson, and that's to abruptly halt his 18-month reign as 155-pound king.
"Ben Henderson will not defend the belt. I will take it home," Edgar vowed . "I am going to beat Ben Henderson, and my hand will be raised on August 11. The belt belongs to me, Frankie Edgar.
"I did think I won the fight. I think I landed the good punches. I felt I got good takedowns. I kinda fought how I usually fight. It was close, it was controversial."
Edgar (14-2-1, 9-2-1 UFC) dropped the title to Henderson (16-2, 4-0 UFC) in a Fight of the Year candidate in Tokyo, 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47. The fight was close, but contrary to Edgar's belief, not controversial. The fight could have been awarded to either Edgar or Henderson. It was that close.
"Rematches are two-sided," Edgar said during a Friday conference call. "Whether it's a title fight or a normal fight, there is no advantage. He was also there, too, and he knows what it takes and what to see out of me. It's really going to come down to who is ready to perform on fight night."
Matching the two current finest lightweights in the world for an immediate rematch is reason enough to believe Henderson-Edgar II will out-soar the original. Besides the opponents knowing one another a lot better, Dana White on the same call upped the ante for both fighters. White confirmed that Nate Diaz (16-7, 11-5 UFC) is the No. 1 contender and will face the winner, which means the loser goes back in line. For Edgar, it will be a long-time coming before he receives another shot at reclaiming the title. For Henderson, the heat is on, for he will be deprived indefinitely of a trilogy bout.
"We have to get [the division] moving again," White said. "It's the unfortunate position that Ben is in. If Ben loses, he gets back in line. There's definitely some pressure on Henderson for that fight."
Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC