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Frankie Edgar says Max Holloway is his ‘toughest test in a title fight’

UFC 25th Anniversary Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will be fighting for his third shot at 145-pound gold when he takes on current featherweight king Max Holloway at UFC 222 on Mar. 3 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Remember, Edgar has lost to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo twice. He was defeated by the Brazilian via unanimous decision at UFC 156 and then over three years later at UFC 200. Aldo remains the only fighter Edgar has ever lost to at 145 pounds.

While “The Answer” still possesses the skill level to compete for UFC gold, he’s going to be facing another champion in his prime at UFC 222. Holloway is coming off back-to-back title victories over Aldo, has won his last 12 Octagon appearances, and is arguably the toughest test of Edgar’s storied career.

“I’m going to have to say yes, [Max Holloway is my toughest test in a title fight] based on what he’s done in his career at this point,” Edgar said during a recent interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports (transcription via “With him being so young and people want to say I’m being old, so I think this is my toughest test but this is what I want. If you want to be the best, you have to go after the best guys.”

“I do think I have that chip [on my shoulder of being too small]. I think you need to have a chip on your shoulder regardless, but the fact that people tell me I’m too small, or not strong enough, not tall enough and now I’m too old, that’s definitely motivating and I love proving people wrong. If I’m able to do that, that’s a notch in my hat.”

Edgar, 36, was originally scheduled to fight Holloway, 26, at UFC 218 this past December, but an injury forced Edgar out of the main event title fight and allowed Aldo to step in for a rematch with “Blessed.”

Now healthy, Edgar is looking to prove his doubters wrong. The long-time UFC veteran is coming off a showcase performance opposite talented contender Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211 in which Edgar battered “El Pantera” with ground-and-pound to earn a second-round TKO stoppage. Edgar is hoping to utilize the same sort of ground dominance against the versatile and potent striking of Holloway.

“Everyone says that styles make match-ups. People want to write me off in this fight because he beat [Jose] Aldo twice and I lost to him twice, but MMA math don’t work like that,” Edgar explained. “I think it’s going to take an A-level performance [to beat Holloway]. I really don’t see any weaknesses in his game.”

“Obviously, my wrestling background I think is something I’ll try to execute. Everyone knows that. Every fight, I go out there and throw a lot of punches and look for takedowns. It’s going to be no different this time around. We’re going to see. We’re going to see how his wrestling defense really is. He’s fought some wrestlers, but I don’t think he’s fought anyone the level of my wrestling right now.”

If Edgar is able to defeat Holloway this March he’ll join a short list of UFC fighters to claim championships in two separate weight classes. But if Edgar is unable to ward off Holloway and loses in devastating fashion, UFC 222 may be the last time we see the New Jersey native compete for a UFC title.

For complete UFC 222 fight card news click here.

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