Former Lightweight champion and current No. 8-ranked Bantamweight contender, Frankie Edgar, had a lot to prove tonight (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) when he locked horns with the durable and game Marlon Vera at UFC 268, which took place inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., streaming online via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV).
“The Answer,” 40, has been a staple inside the Octagon since 2007, competing against top-rated competition throughout his Hall of Fame-worthy tenure. And things were not going to get any easier against “Chito,” who was ranked No. 13 headed into the 135-pound showdown.
And, in the end, Edgar was game for about 13 minutes before eating a fight-ending foot to the face.
Vera came out with a hard jab, with Edgar bouncing around like he normally does. He went in for an early takedown, but Vera sprawled and got back to his feet. Edgar with a nice low kick and quick combination upstairs, followed by a nice overhand right. Vera with a kick that Edgar caught, but was unable to do anything with it and tossed it aside. Edgar launched a head kick , which was blocked, then Edgar snuck in underneath with a smooth takedown. Vera threatened with a guillotine off his back, but Edgar popped his head out and went to work on the ground-and-pound. Edgar worked inside guard, with Vera throwing up hard elbows off his back. Edgar started to drop some hard elbows, with Vera scoring with some hard upkicks as Edgar started to posture up. Edgar immediately sat back down into guard and landed a hard elbow shortly afterward. Vera continued to land elbows from the bottom as the round came to a close.
Edgar started the second stanza the same way he started the first, bouncing every which way and scoring with a low kick. The pair traded shots, with Vera landing a kick to the mid-section. Vera went for a knee to the body, but Edgar caught it and once again put “Chito” on his back with four minutes to go in the round. He immediately went back to the upkicks, and tried to create space with his legs, but Edgar was right back where he has in the first round. Nice ground-and-pound again from Edgar, but this time Vera was able to find an opening and squirted back to his feet. Edgar with a nice body/head combination, then a nice right cross moments later. Vera finally caught Edgar with that knee to the body, then started to chase him around the Octagon. Big shot from Vera along the fence put Frankie on the mat, but it was more of a slip than a knock down. Low kick from Edgar, then another, with a hard overhand right chaser. Vera continued to pressure Edgar, landing a short elbow that this time caught Edgar before the bell sounded.
Third and final round, with Vera likely needing a big round to take emerge victorious. Nice shot from Edgar to start, with Vera missing on a combination upstairs. Edgar went in for another single-leg takedown, but Vera pushed him off easy and landed a nice right hand. Low kick from Vera, who continued to pressure Edgar incessantly. Midway through the round and Edgar was seemingly on auto pilot, playing keep away perhaps thinking he’s up on the judges scorecards. Edgar with a right hook to the body, then a left hand upstairs. Vera clipped him with a nice shot, with Edgar getting him down to the canvas once again. Vera, though, got back up and went back to chasing Edgar. Then, in the blink of an eye, Vera unleashed a front kick to the face that crumbled Edgar. Vera went in to finish him off, and the referee jumped in to save him from further punishment.
He might want to reconsider that after eating a brutal foot sandwich tonight.
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