Third time's a charm... well, so is the first and second in this instance, too.
Frankie Edgar made a featherweight B.J. Penn bleed badly last night (Sun., July 6, 2014) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, stopping the former lightweight kingpin in the third round and sending him into retirement.
It was a decisive, dominant, and destructive victory for the "Answer," who almost took no damage whatsoever from the fading "Prodigy," tossing him on his back at will, and finishing him with some brutal ground-and-pound.
It was sad to see Penn's legacy end in such a fashion, yet his old rival had a job to do and likely escalated in the featherweight rankings in doing so.
We didn't learn anything about the New Jersey native, since we expected him to look as fast and as polished as he did. Edgar was unfazed by anything Penn threw his way, and looked the lightest and quickest he's ever been on his feet.
The featherweight division certainly suits the former UFC lightweight champion, whose record stands at 2-1 since moving down. His first fight was a loss to Jose Aldo for the belt at UFC 156, yet many feel Edgar did well in the championship rounds, and could have stolen the victory if there were other judges working on that night in February 2013.
Since "Scarface" had to bow out of his second fight against Chad Mendes at UFC 176, it doesn't leave the division in shambles, but it leaves the immediate future in question. There haven't been too many details about the Brazilian's injury, and whether or not he will be able to come back quickly.
The card is at risk of being canceled altogether.
It would be tough to imagine Edgar making a quick turnaround to main event that card against Mendes (even though the guy in the truck asked Ronda Rousey to do it at UFC 175) and it doesn't seem like there is a need for an interim belt just yet.
Plus, Cub Swanson was all but guaranteed a title fight at 145 pounds after his big win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44, so there's that, too.
The "Answer" is either expecting a championship bout or a title eliminator fight in his next scrap, and the wisest choice would be Swanson. However, it's a little unfair for Cub to be told he's going to "get what he wants," only to be forced to duke it out against Edgar.
At the same time, Edgar sort of deserves a title fight, just because he can beat almost anyone in the world, and his track record proves it. Also, he's such a joy to watch, and it would be baffling to hear someone say he doesn't tickle their fancy.
But on the flip side, the promotion can wait a little longer when it comes to Edgar's title aspirations.
Sure, he's a former champion, who may have the biggest heart in the promotion, but he's only had three fights in the division. Since he's already received his chance at acquiring gold in a second weight class, you can pit Edgar against some of the other combatants in the division, including Chan Sung Jung, who hasn't fought in almost a year, or the resurgent Dustin Poirier.
Edgar could even face the winner of the intriguing battle pitting Clay Guida vs. Dennis Bermudez at UFC on FOX 12 in a few short weeks.
Like Chris Weidman, who was also victorious this past weekend, Edgar has a lot of options.
They may not be in the same boat, but there's still a lot of challenges that present themselves for both. In spite of that, Edgar would probably be one win away from a second featherweight scrap for the belt, regardless of his future opponent.
So, who would you choose?
For extensive TUF 19 Finale coverage, including video highlights, post-fight recaps, and more, click here.